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BX 6331 .H595 

Hiscox, Edward Thurston, 

1814-1901 . 
The standard manual for 

Bapt i st churches 

XHE ; M '920 

Standard Manual 


Baptist Churches. 



Author of "The Baptist t Short Method," "Star 
Ministers," "The Star Book Series" 
"Pastors' Manual," etc. 



1701-1703 Chestnut Street. 

ftatared. according to Act of Congress, in the year 1800, by tbi 

American Baptist Publication Society, 

In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at W&shingtoa. 

Published June, 



A Ch*i8Tiait Church, 11 

Chukch Officers, » . 14 

Church Ordinances, It 

Church Membership, 23 


Chukch Discipline, Tt 

Case* of Appeal, ft 

Church Business, <Q 



Christian Doctrine. 66 

Oftiokal Standing Resolutions, .... 77 

Baptism Considered, 80 

The Lord's Supper, 108 

Ihtant Baptism, , 129 

Church Government, 140 

Church Officers, 148 

Baptist History, . 1M 


It is now thirty years since the " Baptist 
Church Directory " prepared by the writer, 
was first published. That work was de- 
signed to be somewhat of a consensus of 
the opinions of those best able to judge in 
matters of Baptist Church polity and usage, 
especially as to what concerns administra- 
tion and discipline. It might thus prove a 
help to both pastors and members, particu- 
larly in perplexing cases liable to arise, 
Thus it was hoped it might help to rectify 
the order and customs of our churches 
through our widely extended ranks. This 
hope has been realized. More than fifty 
thousand copies of that book have been cir- 
culated in this country. It has also been 
translated, more or less fully, into six or 
seven different languages by our mission- 
aries, for use in our missions and foreign 

!• » 


But many of the churches desired a 
smaller and less expensive manual, which 
they could put into the hands of all their 
members. To meet this want, sixteen years 
ago, the writer prepared the little "Star 
Book on Baptist Church Polity," which 
many churches have adopted, furnishing 
their members and candidates for member- 
ship with them freely. This has had a cir- 
culation of over thirty thousand copies; 
and both this and the " Directory " are in 
as great demand as at any previous time. 

It is something more than twenty years 
since the " Baptist Short Method," by the 
Bame author was published. The purpose 
of this manual was to give a concise view 
of those distinctive features which mark 
the difference between Baptists and other 
denominations, especially as to the ordi- 
nances and church order ; and also to fur- 
nish the proofs by which our position in 
these respects is justified. About ten thou- 
sand copies of this book have found their 
way into circulation. 

The preparation of the present manual 
was undertaken at the request, and by an 
arrangement with the pastor, R. S. Mac- 
Arthur, D. D., on behalf of the Calvary 


Baptist Church, New York City, for the 
gpecial use of that church. Something v?as 
desired smaller than the " Directory," and 
more ful! than the "Star Book/' embrac- 
ing certain features of the " Short Method/' 
When completed, it was thought to be, on 
the whole, so much superior to anything 
ever before prepared, as a manual for gen- 
eral use in Baptist churches, that by mutual 
consent, it was decided to have it published 
for general circulation, rather than confine 
it to the use of a single church. 

To both ministers and members, such a 
manual, it is hoped, will prove a valuable 
helper in the interest of church order, and 
of denominational unity and prosperity. 
Especially for the younger members, so 
many thousands of whom are yearly ad- 
mitted to the fellowship of the churches, 
with an unlimited franchise, while but im- 
perfectly instructed as to either doctrines or 
order, it should prove a most valuable assist- 
ant. Concise and accurate in statement of 
facts, transparent in arrangement of matters* 
convenient in form, and cheap in cost, 
pastors will find it to their own advantage, 
as well as to that of their members, to see 
that their churches are liberally supplied 


with copies. The pastor of one of oui 
very largest and most prosperous churches, 
for whose use its preparation was under- 
taken, shows his estimate of its value, and 
sets other pastors a wise and worthy exam- 
ple, by ordering in advance of publication, 
one thousand copies for his church. 

May the divine blessing make this, as 
other works have been made, a means of 
furthering good order, spiritual vitality, 
and efficient service for Christ, in the 
churches for which it is designed. 

Mount Vernon, N. T., 
January 84, 1890. S. T. H. 






The word " church " is, in common lan- 
guage, used with large latitude of meaning. 
It is applied to a building used for Chris- 
tian worship, to a congregation of Christian 
worshipers, to a religious establishment, to 
a given form of ecclesiastical order, to the 
aggregate of all Christian believers, and to 
a local company of Christian disciples asso- 
ciated in covenant for religious purposes. 
The latter is its common use in the New 

The Greek word ekklema, rendered 
u church " is derived from a word meaning 



u called out," and is used to indicate a com- 
pany called out from a larger and more gen- 
eral assembly or concourse of people. In the 
free Greek cities, it designated a company 
of persons possessed of the rights of citizen- 
ship, and charged with certain important 
functions of administration in public affairs, 
summoned, or called out, from the common 
mass of the people. In the New Testa- 
ment, the ekJdtxia is a company of persons 
called out and separated from the common 
multitude by a divine calling, chosen to be 
saints, invested with the privileges, and 
charged with the duties of citizenship in the 
kingdom of Christ. 

A Christian church, therefore, according 
to the New Testament idea, is a company 
of persons divinely called and separated 
from the world, baptized on a profession of 
their faith in Christ, united in covenant for 
worship and Christian service, under the 
supreme authority of Christ, whose word is 
their only law and rule of life in all matterg 
of religious faith and practice. 

Some Christian denominations include all 
their congregations in one comprehensive 
Bociety, or ecclesiastical system, under some 
central authority, which legislates for and 


controls the whole. This comprehensive 
society they call the church. Thus we 
speak of the Roman Catholic Church, the 
Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church 
— where the word u church " stands for the 
aggregate of all their local societies. With 
Baptists it is different. They speak of 
Baptist churches, but not of the Baptist 
Church, when the .entire denomination is 
meant. The Baptist Church would mean 
some one local congregation of baptized 

Thus was it in apostolic times. There 
was " the church in Jerusalem," " the 
church of the Thessalonians," " the church 
of Babylon," " the church of the Laodi- 
ceans " ; but " the churches of Macedonia," 
" the churches of Asia," " the churches of 
Judea." A church, therefore, is not a 
system of congregations confederated under 
a general government, but a single local 
congregation of Christian disciples asssoci- 
ated in covenant and meeting together for 
worship. In this sense the word is com- 
monly, almost uniformly, used in the New 

Churches are divinely instituted to be 
* the light of the world " and " the salt 01 


the earth." They are ordained for the 
glory of God, as " the ground and pillar of 
the truth," in the proclamation of his gos- 
pel and the establishment of his kingdom 
in the world. They are commissioned to 
preach the gospel to men, and to live the 
gospel before men, that Christ may be 
honored and sinners saved. They should, 
therefore, be constantly striving to realize 
the grand purpose of their existence and 
fulfill the mission of their high calling. 
That church which does the most to honor 
Christ and save man will be the most 
honored by him, and the most influential 
and prosperous in all that pertains to the 
true functions of a church. And since a 
church, as a body, is what its individual 
members are in their religious life and influ- 
ence, therefore each member should strive 
to become in holy living what he desires 
the church to be. 

Note 1.— A body of Christian disciples may fail So 
meet some of the requirements of the gospels, and 
still be a true church of Christ, providing it fulfills 
the fundamental conditions of a Scriptural faith and 

Notb 2. — But when a body ceases to acknowledge 
and submit to Christ as its Supreme Ruler, and to 
receive his word as its supreme law, then it ceases to 


be a true church, and is simply a religious society, 
though it may still accept some of his doctrines and 
practice some of his precepts. 

Notb 3. — A church is not a legislative, but an 
executive body. It cannot make laws, but only obey 
and administer those which Christ has given in the 
New Testament. He is the only Lawmaker in Zion. 

Notb 4. — But in matters pertaining to order and 
methods of administration, merely optional and dis- 
cretionary, not Involving fundamental principles, the 
church is to exercise its liberty, so long as it does not 
contravene Scriptural teaching or infringe the rights 
of its members. 

Note 5. — And still further, while a church cannot 
become an authoritative expounder of either truth or 
duty, to bind the consciences even of its members, 
yet it does possess a judicial function for the inter- 
pretation and the enforcement of the laws of Christ 
for itself as a body, and, therefore, for its members, 
so far as their relation to the compact is concerned. 

Notb 6.— Each church owes courtesy and comity, 
fellowship and fraternity, to all others ; but it owe* 
subjection and allegiance to none, and is under au- 
thority to Christ alone. 

Notb 7. — In matters of business and in the exercise 
of its authority in administration, the will of the 
church is expressed by a majority vote of its mem- 
bers. But the nearer that majority approaches to 
unanimity, the more satisfactory and emphatic are 
its decisions. 

Notb 3. — Councils may be called, presbyteries con- 
vened, or committees of reference chosen for advice 
in cases of moment, but they are all advisory only, 
and in no case authoritative. There is no higher, 
and no other eourt of appeal in ecclesiastical affairs, 
than the individual church. 




The Scriptural officers of a church are 
bishops and deacons. Bishops are in the 
New Testament also called "presbyters," 
" elders," and "overseers." Their duties 
and services have mainly reference to 
the spiritual interests of the body, though 
they properly have the oversight of all its 
concerns. The deacons have principal 
charge of the temporalities of the church, 
so as to relieve the pastor in that depart- 
ment of labor. They are, however, to be 
counselors and helpers of the pastor in all 
departments of his work. The qualifica- 
tions for both offices are set forth in the 
Epistles to Timothy and Titus. 

Notb 1. — Pastors and deacons, as teachers and 
leaders of the flock, cannot be selected for and Im- 
posed upon the churches by any external authority 
whatever, either civic or religious ; but are elected 

i This and sereral of the following section* are c onsistent 
with the M Star Book on Baptist Church Polity," on the same 


and chosen by the free suffrages of the members, 
without compulsion or restraint, from among them- 
selves, or those who are to become identified with 
them in fellowship. 

Note 2. — In the election of either a paster ox 
deacon, notice cf such election should be given from 
the pulpit for at least two Sundays preceding the 
time for the same. The election should be by ballot, 
and at least three-qtutrter$ of the votes cast should be 
necessary for the election of a pastor, and ttoo-thirds 
for the election of a deacon. Such election should 
be preceded by prayer for divine direction, and con- 
ducted without partisan devices or personal strife. 

Note 8. — Both pastors and deacons are properly 
elected for unlimited terms of service, the relation to 
continue so long as there shall be mutual satisfaction. 
Such a course tends less to depreciate and make 
aervile the officers and their duties in the estimation 
of the people, and of those who bear them, than a 
limited and specified time, though deacons are some- 
times, and perhaps properly, chosen for a limited term 
of service, subject to re-election, at the option of the 

Note 4. — The church is to fix on the amount of 
•alary necessary to a generous support of the pastor 
and hold itself obligated by every consideration of 
Christian honor for the prompt and regular payment 
of the same. To fail in this is as dishonorable to the 
ehurch as it is unjust and vexatious to the pastor. 

Note 5.— The call to a pastor issues from the 
thureh as a body, which also designates the amount 
of salary to be paid. It is in some sections usual, 
though not essential, to have subsequently a meeting 
of the entire congregation or society to approve or 
confirm the call. In some States it is neccessary for 
the trustees, as the legal representatives of the cor- 
poration, to confirm the action officially, so far as the 
salary is concerned, before it can become legal. 


Note 6. — The number of deacons is optional with 
the church. It la usually from three to seven. Let it 
be so many as the church needs and can find suitable 
candidates for the supply. But they should never be 
elected simply to fill the office, and never unless there 
be persons whose fitness for the office is generally 

Note 7. — The relations between pastor and the 
church may be dissolved at the option of either^ bj 
giving three months notice ; or otherwise, by mutua) 
consent. Between the deacons and the church, the 
relations may be dissolved at the option of eithe* 
without previous notice. 

Note 8. — A church clerk is elected annually, at a 
business meeting, by a majority vote. It is an office 
of convenience, for keeping the minutes and preserv- 
ing the records of the body. Also trustees are elected 
by the church, or if the law so requires, by a society. 
Thefr duties are the care of the property and the 
management of finances. But these are not consid- 
ered 8criptural church officers ; deacons might prop- 
erly discharge all the functions of these offices, i 

Note 9. — The offices of trust and service in a 

* In uome State* the laws do not recognize the church, that 
being a spiritual body, but incorporate a society, as it la called, 
eon elating of all parsons of foil age who attend and support 
the worship. This society has charge of the financial affairs 
of the church, hold and keep in repair its property, and con- 
duct its secular concerns. It elects a specified number of 
trustees, as provided for bylaw, who are the legal represents- 
tires of the corporation. The members of the society, and the 
trustees elected, may or may not be members of the church. 
This whole society arrangement ia a relict of the old New 
England pariah system of the standing order, and is incon- 
sistent with the freedom of ohurch action, and antagonistic to 
Baptist Church independence. It is anti-Baptistic and anti- 
Scriptural, a church should be allowed to manage its own 
affairs, both temporal and spiritual : and should be protected 
few law in doing so. The society system has been abrogated i» 
■tost of the States. 


ehurch should be as widely distributed among the 
members as possible, consistently with the welfare of 
the body. This rule should seldom be disregarded. 
No one man should hold more than one office at the 
same time, unless the interests of the body absolutely 
demand it. If offices are honors, they should be 
widely dispensed ; if they are burdens, they certainly 
should be. For the same man to hold two or three 
>mces is as unjust to him as it is to his brethren. 

Notb 10. — A church cannot unite in any corporate 
capacity with other organizations for religious, be- 
aevolent, moral reform, or other purposes ; but it may 
Operate with these for any good object, and give to 
such societies its moral support, sympathy, and pe- 
cuniary aid. 

Note 11. — But members of churchee can, aa Indi- 
viduals, unite with outside organizations, for any 
purpose, not inconsistent with their profession as 
Christians, and not injurious to their church rela- 
tions and duties. 

Not* 12. — Churches cannot alienate their respon- 
sibilities, nor delegate their authority to any man, or 
to any body of men, to act officially for them. But 
they can appoint persons to bear messages, and te 
perform services for them, under instruction, and t» 
report their action to the body. 




Christian ordinances, in the largest sense, 
are any institutions, or regulations of divine 
appointment, established as means of grace 
for the good of men, or as acts of worship 
for the honor of God. In that sense, not 
only are baptism and the Lord's Supper 
ordinances, but preaching, prayer, hearing 
the word, fasting, and thanksgiving are also 
ordinances, since all are of divine appoint- 
ment. But, in a narrower sense, it is com- 
mon to say that baptism and the Lord 1 8 Sup- 
per are the only ordinances appointed by 
Christ to be observed by his churches. 
These are the only emblematic and com- 
memorative rites enjoined upon his disciples, 
by which they are to be distinguished, and 
he is to be honored. They are the two 
symbols and witnesses of the New Cove- 
nant, the two monuments of the New Dis- 


Baptism is the immersion, or dipping, of 
a candidate in water, on a profession of his 
faith in Christ and on evidence of regenera- 
tion ; the baptism to be ministered in, or 
into the name of the Father, the Son, and 
Holy Spirit. It represents the burial and 
resurrection of Christ, and in a figure de- 
clares the candidate's death to sin and the 
world, and his rising to a new life. It also 
proclaims the washing of regeneration, and 
professes the candidate's hope of a resurrec- 
tion from the dead, through him into the 
likeness of whose death he is buried in bap- 

The Lord's Supper is a provision of bread 
and wine, used to represent the body and 
the blood of Christ, partaken of by mem- 
bers of the church assembled for that pur- 
pose ; in which service they commemorate 
the love of Christ exhibited in his death for 
them, and profess their faith and participa- 
tion in the merits of his sacrifice as the only 
ground of their hope of eternal life. 

Notb 1.— No person can rightfully or properly be- 
come & church member except he be first baptized, as 
the distinguishing mark and profession of his disci* 

Notx 2. — The Supper is a church ordinance, and 
therefore is the privilege of church members only. 


Therefore, also, since baptism precedes church mem- 
bership, it must precede and be pre-requisite to the 
Lord's Supper. 

Note 3. — Since the Supper is distinctively a church 
ordinance, it is to be observed by churches only, and 
not by individuals ; neither in private places, nor in 
sick rooms, nor on social occasions, and not by com- 
panies of disciples other than churches. But a church 
may by appointment, and in its official capacity, meet 
in a private house, a sick room, or wherever it may 
elect, and there observe the Supper. 

Notk 4.— Both ordinances are ordinarily and prop- 
erly administered by ordained and accredited minis- 
ters ; but both would be equally valid if administered 
by unordained persons, should occasion require and 
the church so direct. As to the qualifications of the 
administrator, the New Testament is silent, except 
that he should be a disciple. 

Note 5. — As to the time, place, and frequency of 
the ordinances, no Scriptural directions are given. 
These are left optional with the churches. They are 
usually observed on Sundays, but not necessarily. 
As to the Supper, our churches have very generally 
come to observe it on the first Sunday of each month. 

Notk 6. — The participation of the elements in the 
Supper should be done according to the special direc- 
tion of Christ, the Head of the body. u This do in 
remembrance of m«." It it not, therefore, a test or 
token of Christian fellowship, except incidentally. 
All thought and sympathy in the service should be 
centered on him who is " the living bread," and not 
axed on others. 

Note 7. — The ordinances are not tacramenU, as 
taught by some, conveying effectual grace to the soul 
and Imparting spiritual life. But as divinely ap- 
pointed means of grace, their importance must no* 
be undervalued. They cannot be neglected without 
suffering serious harm and incurring the grave*t re- 


Notb 6. — Baptism Is not essential to salvation, fer 
oar churches utterly repudiate the dogma of " bap- 
tismal regeneration ''" ; but it is essential to obedience, 
since Christ has commanded it. It is also essential to 
a public confession of Christ before the world, and to 
membership in the church which is his body. And na 
true lover of his Lord will refuse these acts of obedi 
anee and tokens of affection 




It is most likely that in the Apostolic ag« 
when there was but " one Lord, one faith, 
and one baptism," and no differing denomi- 
nations existed, the baptism of a convert 
by that very act, constituted him a member 
of the church, and at once endowed him 
with all the rights and privileges of full 
membership. In that sense, " baptism was 
the door into the church." Now, it is 
different ; and while the churches are desir- 
ous of receiving members, they are wary 
and cautious that they do not receive 
unworthy persons. The churches therefore 
have candidates come before them, make 
their statement, give their " experience," 
and then their reception is decided by a 
vote of the members. And while they can- 
not become members without baptism, yet 
it is the vote of the body which admits 
them to its fellowship on receiving baptism. 


There are three classes of candidates, and 
modes of reception to membership. 

1. By baptism. — The church having lis- 
tened to the religious experience of the 
candidate, and being satisfied with the same, 
and with his Christian deportment, votes to 
receive him to its fellowship, "on being 

2. By letter. — The candidate presents a 
letter of dismission and recommendation 
from some other Baptist church with which 
he has been connected, for the purpose ot 
transferring his membership to this. The 
church, being satisfied, votes to receive him 
into fellowship. 

3. By experience. — Persons having been 
baptized, but for some reason being with- 
out membership in any church, wish to be 
received. They, giving satisfactory evi- 
dence of Christian character, and substan- 
tial agreement in matters of faith and prac- 
tice, are received by vote, as in other cases, 

Notb 1. — Persons cannot be received to member- 
ship on the credit of letters from other denominations. 
8uch letters are, however, accepted, as certificates of 
Christian character, and of church standing. 

Notb 2.— -While the churches do not require candi- 
dates to sign any creed, confesaion, or articles of 
faith, yet they do expect a substantial agreement la 


matters of faith and practice on their part as essential 
both to the comfort of the individual, and the har- 
mony of the body. 

Notb S. — Should any member object to the recep- 
tion of a candidate, tuch reception should be deferred, 
in order to consider the reasons for the objection. 
Objections judged groundless or unreasonable should 
not prevent the reception of a suitable candidate ; yet 
no one should be received except by a unanimous or 
nearly unanimous vote. 

Notb 4. It is customary for candidates, after their 
experience or letters have been presented, to retirs 
while the church deliberates and acts upon their case. 

Notb 5. — Any member in good standing, is entitled, 
at any time, to a letter of dismission, in the usual 
form, with which to unite with another church of the 
same faith and order. 

Notb 6. — Letters are usually made valid for six 
month* only, during which time they must be used, if 
used at all. But if held longer, they may be renewed 
by the church, if satisfactory reasons are given for 
their non-nse. 

Notb 7.— Each one receiving a letter is still a mem- 
ber of the church, and under its watcbcare and dis- 
cipline, until his letter is actually received by another 

Notb 8. — Letters cannot be given to members for 
the purpose of uniting with churches with which we 
are net in fellowship. But any member is entitled, 
at any time, to receive a certificate of standing, and 
Christian character. 

Not* 9. — No member can withdraw from the church, 
or have his name dropped, or at his own request be 
mcludcd from the fellowship of the body without due 
process of discipline. 

Notb 10. — Nor can a member have a letter voted 


and forced upon him without hi» wish and consent 
Such would be a virtual expulsion from the body. If 
worthy to receive a letter, he cannot be forced out of 
the church against his will. 

Notb 11. — Members living remote from the church 
are expected to unite with some Baptist church near 
their residence ; or give satisfactory reasons for not 
doing so. When they cannot so unite, they are ex- 
pected to report themselves to the church at least 
once each year, and contribute to its support, till they 
cease to be members. 

Notb 12. — Letters of dismission may be revoked 
at any time before being used, if, in the judgment of 
the church, there be sufficient cause for such action, 

Notb 13.— Church fellowship will be withdrawn 
from members who unite with other denominations ; 
because, however excellent their character, or sincere 
their intentions, they have broken covenant with the 
church, and by such act have placed themselvea 
beyond the limits of its fellowship. 

Notb 14. — Persons excluded from other churches 
are not to be received to membership, except after the 
most careful investigation of all the facts in the case, 
and not unless it be manifest that the exclusion w« 
unjustifiable, and that the church excluding persist- 
ently refuses to do justice to the excluded member. 

Notb 15.— A letter is usually asked for and 
addressed to a particular church. This is proper, 
but not always necessary. It may in certain cases be 
asked for, and given " to any church of the same 
faith and order/' Or if directed to one, it may be 
presented to, and received by another. 

Notb 16.— It is expected that all pecuniary liability 
to the church will be canceled, and all personal diffi- 
culties in the church will be settled by a member, 
should such exist, before he shall receive a letter « 


Notb 17. — Each member, without exception, it ex- 
pected to fill Ma place in the church, by attendance 
on its appointments, as Providence may allow, and 
also to contribute of his means for the pecuniary 
support of the body, according to his ability. If in 
either of these respects he fails, and refuses, he be- 
comes a covenant-breaker, and is subject to the disci- 
pline of the body. 

Notb 18. — Persons excluded from the church may 
oe again received to its fellowship on satisfactory 
evidence of fitness. This is called reception by resto- 
ration, and is usually so entered on the records, and 
In associational reports. 

Notb 19. — It is neither a Christian nor an honor- 
able course for a church to grant an unworthy mem- 
ber a valid letter, and send him to another church as 
one in good and regular standing, in order to be rid 
of a disturber of the peace, or to avoid the trouble of 
a course of discipline. 

Notb 20. — No church is obliged to receive a person 
to membership, simply because he brings a valid 
letter from another church. Each church Is to be 
sole judge of the qualifications of persons to be 
received to its fellowship. 




Church members are supposed to be re- 
generate persons bearing the image and 
cherishing the spirit of Christ, in whom the 
peace of God rules, and who walk and 
work in " the unity of the Spirit, and the 
bond of peace." But unhappily, even the 
saints are sanctified only in part, and 
troubles sometimes arise among brethren. 
The evil passions of even good men may 
triumph over piety, and partisan strife may 
destroy the peace and the prosperity of the 
body of Christ. All this should, if possi- 
ble, be avoided. Corrective discipline seeks 
to heal offenses ; but it is better to prevent 
them, than to heal them. It is, however, 
better to heal and remove, than to endure 

Now these offenses and occasions of dis- 
sension in the churches arise from various 
causes, and are largely preventable. Most 


frequently they come by the following 

1. Because of the too suspicious and 
sensitive disposition of some who imagine 
themselves wronged, neglected, or in some 
way injured ; the matter being chiefly imagi- 
nary, and without any real foundation in 

2. Because the pastor, deacons, and in- 
fluential members do not carefully and con- 
stantly enough watch the beginnings of 
strife, and rectify the evil before it becomes 

3. Because evil-doers by delay become 
more persistent in evil, while others are 
drawn into the strife, and contentious parties 
insensibly are formed, which tend to divide 
the church into hostile factions. 

4. Because that when the difficulty be- 
comes chronic and deep-seated, the church 
is likely to undertake the discipline with 
judicial severity, and not in the spirit of 
meekness, in which the spiritual should re- 
store the erring. 

5. Because that a case of discipline un- 
dertaken under excitement is almost certain 
to be wrongly conducted. Even if the result 
reached be just and right, the method by 


which it is reached is likely to be unwise, 
unjust, and oppressive to individuals, pos- 
sibly producing more serious and more last- 
ing evils than it ha3 removed. 

Offenses calling for discipline are usually 
considered as of two classes ; private or per- 
sonal, and public or general. These terms 
do not very accurately express the nature of 
the offenses, but they are in common use, 
and capable of being understood. In the 
administration of corrective discipline y the 
following rules and principles constitute a 
correct and Scriptural course of proceeding. 


Private offenses pertain to personal diffi- 
culties between individuals, having no direct 
reference to the church as a body, and not 
involving the Christian profession at large. 
In such cases, the course prescribed by our 
Saviour (Matt. 18 : 15-17) is to be strictly 
followed, without question or deviation. 

1. First step. — The member who con- 
siders himself injured must go to the 
offender, tell him his grief, and between 
themselves alone, if possible, adjust and 
settle the difficulty. " If thy brother shall 
trespass against thee, go and tell him his 


fault, between thee and him alone." Thie 
most be done, not to charge, upbraid-, or 
condemn the offender, but to win him. " If 
he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy 

2. Second step. — If this shall fail, then 
the offended member must take one 01 two 
of the brethren with him as witnesses, seek 
an interview with the offender, and, if pos- 
sible, by their united wisdom and piety, 
remove the offense and harmonize the dif- 
ficulty , " But if he will not hear thee, then 
take with thee one or two more, that in the 
mouth of two or three witnesses, every word 
may be established." 

3. Tldrd step. — If this step should prove 
unavailing, then the offended member must 
tell the whole matter to the churchy and 
leave it in their hands to be disposed of, as 
to them may seem wisest and best. " And 
if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to 
the church." He has done his duty and 
must abide by the decision of the body 
which assumes this responsibility. 

4. The result. — If this course of kindly 
Christian labor proves finally ineffectual, 
and the offender shows himself incorrigible, 
excision must follow. He must be cut off 


from fellowship in the church whose cove- 
nant he has broken, and whose authority 
he disregards. "And if he neglect to hear 
the church, let hira be unto thee as an 
heathen man, and a publican." However 
painful the act, the church must be faithful 
to its duty, and to its God. 

Note 1. — While this divine rale makes it obliga- 
tory on the offended member to go to the offender and 
seek a reconciliation, yet much more is it obligatory 
on the offender who knows that a brother is grieved 
with him, to seek such an one, and try to remove the 

Note 2.— The matter is not to be made public until 
these three steps have been fully taken, and have 
failed ; and then to be made public only by telling 
the church, and no others. 

Note 8. — When the case comes before the church, 
tt must not be neglected, nor dropped, but judiciously 
pursued until the difficulty be adjusted, the offense 
removed, or else the offender be disfellowshipped, and 
put away. 


Publio offenses are not against any one 
person more than another, but are such as 
are supposed to be a dishonor to the church 
of which the offender is a member, and a 
reproach to the Christian profession. They 
constitute a violation of the code of Chris- 
tian morals, if not of our common worldly 


The more common causes of this class of 
offenses are the following : False doctrine 
(Gal. 1 : 9 ; 2 John 10), disregard of au- 
thority (Matt. 18:17; 1 Thess. 6 : 14), con- 
tention und strife (Rom. 16 : 17), immoral 
conduct (1 Cor. 5 : 11), disorderly walk 
(2 Thess. 3 : 6, 9), covetous spirit (Eph. 5 : 
5 ; 1 Cor. 5:11), arrogant conduct (3 John 
9), going to law (1 Cor. 6 : 6). 

The following constitutes a proper and 
Scriptural course of treatment for such 

1. The first member who has knowledge 
of the offense should, as in the case of pri- 
vate offenses, seek the offender, ascertain the 
facts, and attempt to reconcile or remove 
the difficulty. Not till he has done this 
should he make it public, or bring it before 
the church. 

2. But if no one will, or can, pursue this 
course of personal effort, or if such a course 
proves unsuccessful, then any member hav- 
ing knowledge of the facts should confer 
with the pastor and deacons as to the best 
course to Be pursued. 

3. The pastor and deacons should, by the 
best method they are capable of devising, 
labor to adjust the matter without bringing 


it into the church, or otherwise making it 

4. But if their efforts fail, or if the cast 
be already public, aud a reproach and scan- 
dal to religion, then they should bring it to 
the church, and it should direct a proper 
course of discipline. 

5. The church, thus having the case be- 
fore it, should either appoint a committee 
to visit the offender, or cite him before the 
body to answer the charge. He should be 
allowed to hear the evidence against him, 
know the witnesses, and be permitted to an- 
swer for himself. 

6. If the accused disproves the charges, 
or if he confesses the wrong, makes suitable 
acknowledgment, and, so far as possible, 
reparation, with promise of amendment, in 
all ordinary cases, this should be deemed 
satisfactory, and the case be dismissed. 

7. But if, after patient, deliberate, and 
prayerful labor, all efforts fail to reclaim 
the offender, then, however painful the ne- 
cessity, the church must withdraw its fel- 
lowship from him, and put him away from 

8. If the case be one of flagrant immor- 
ality, by which the reputation of th* % ^\dy 


if compromised and the Christian name 
■candalized, on being proven or confessed, 
the hand of fellowship may be at once with- 
drawn from the offender, notwithstanding 
any confessions and promises of amend- 
ment j but not without a trial. 

The church's good name and the honor 
of religion demand this testimony against 
evil. He may be subsequently restored, if 
suitably penitent. 

Notk. 1. — All discipline should be conducted in the 
spirit of Christian meekness and love, with a desire 
to remove offenses and win offenders. It must also he 
done under a deep sense of responsibility to maintain 
the honor of Christ's name, the purity of his church, 
and the integrity of his truth. 

Notk 2. — If any member shall persist in bringing a 
private grievance before the church, or otherwiae 
make it public, before he has pursued the course pre- 
scribed in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, he 
becomes himself an offender, and subject to the disci- 
pline of the body. 

Not* 3. — When private difficulties exist among 
members, which they cannot, or will not settle, the 
church should consider them as public offenses, and 
aa such dispose of them, rather than suffer the per- 
petual Injury which they inflict. 

Notb 4. — When a member refers to the church 
any private difficulty, which he has been unable to 
settle, he must submit it wholly to the disposition of 
the body, and abide by its decision. If he attempt! 
to revive and prosecute it beyond the decision of the 


church, he becomes an offender, and subject to disci- 

Not i 5. — Any member tried bj the church has the 
right to receive copies of all charges against him. the 
names of his accusers and the witnesses, both of wnom 
he shall hare the privilege of meeting face to face, 
hearing their statements, bringing witnesses on his 
side, and answering for himself before the body. 

Notb 6.— Every member, on trial or excluded, shall 
have furnished, at his request, authentic copies of all 
proceedings had by the church in his case, officially 

Notb 7. — No member under discipline can have the 
right to bring any person, not a member, before the 
church as his advocate, except by consent of the 

Notb 6. — In every case of exclusion, the charges 
against the member, and the reasons for his exclu- 
sion, should be accurately entered on the records of 
the church. 

Notb 9. — If at any time it shall become apparent, 
or seem probable to the church that it has for any 
reason dealt unjustly with a member, or excluded hiss 
without sufficient cause, it should at once, and with- 
out request, by concession and restoration, so far as 
possible, repair the Injury it has done him. 

Notb 10. — The church should hold itself bound to 
restore to its fellowship an excluded member when- 
ever he gives satisfactory evidence of repentance arid 
reformation consistent with godliness. 

Notb 11. — The church will exercise its legitimate 
authority, and vindicate its honor and rectitude is 
the administration of discipline, even though the 
member should regard such discipline as unjust •? 


Koth IS.— Nothing can bo considered a just and 
reasonable cause for discipline, except what is for- 
bidden by the letter or the spirit of Scripture. And 
nothing can be considered a sufficient cause for dls- 
fellowship and exclusion, except what Is clearly con- 
trary to Scripture, and what would have prevented 
the reception of the person into the church, had it 
been known to exist at the time of his reception. 




Cases of difficulty and discipline do 
sometimes occur, go aggravated in their na- 
ture or so complicated in their treatment that 
it is found impossible to make a satisfactory 
settlement by ordinary methods ; especially 
so if discipline has ended in exclusion. The 
excluded member will be almost sure to 
think he has been dealt with unjustly, and 
will wish for some redress ; and if the case 
has been of long standing and much com- 
plicated, he will be equally sure to have 
others sympathize with him and condemn 
the action of the church. Now, although 
the presumption is that the church has done 
right, and is justified in its action, the pos- 
t&Uity is that the church has done wrong, 
and is censurable for its action. 

What can be done in such a case ? 

Wow 1.— On the New Testament theory of chorea 
ffoyernment, the action of the indlridual local church 



U final. There is no power, either civil or ecclesiaa- 
tlcal, that can reverse its decision or punish it for 
wrongdoing. It may make mistakes, but no human 
tribunal has authority to compel it to confess or cor- 
rect them. 

Notb 2. — Councils, if appealed to for redress, have 
no authority ; they are simply, always, and everywhere 
sdvuory — that, and nothing more. They can express 
an opinion, and give advice ; but they have no au- 
thority to issue decrees, and would have no power to 
enforce them if they should. 1 

Notb 3. — Any person who believes himself wronged 
by church action has the inalienable right to appeal 
to the church for a new hearing, and, failing in this, 
to ask the counsel and advice ox brethren, should he 
see fit to do so. 

Now observe — If an excluded member 
believes himself unjustly dealt by, and 
wishes redress, the following is the proper 
course for him to pursue : 

1. Apply to the church which excluded, 
and ask a re-hearing. State to them the 
grounds of his complaint and the evidence 
on which he thinks he can satisfy them, if 
a fair opportunity for being heard be given 

2. If they refuse him a re-hearing, let 
him appeal to them to unite with him in 
calling a mutual council, before which the 

1 For t more oomprehensire disouision of council*— what the* 
aan, *nd what they oannot do, how to call. and how to cm 
eo th« " Star Book on Baptist Council*." 


irhoie case shall be placed, all parties to 
abide by its decision. 

3. If a mutual council be declined by 
the church, he would be fully justified, 
should he feel so inclined, in calling an ex 
parte council, before which he should place 
the facts and seek its advice. 

4. Or, instead of calling an ex parte coun- 
cil, he could apply to some other church to 
be received to its fellowship, on the ground 
that he had been unjustly excluded. Should 
he be received to another church, that would 
give him church standing and fellowship 
again, and vindicate him so far as any eccle- 
siastical action could vindicate him. 

6. If all these resorts fail, there is noth- 
ing left but for him to wait patiently and 
bear the burden of his wrong until Provi- 
dence opens the way for his deliverance. 
He may, after all, conclude that he himself 
was more in fault than he at first supposed, 
and the church less so. 

Not a 4.— An ex parte council should not be called 
In su;h a case of difficulty until all efforts hare failed 
to eecure a mutual council ; as such a council, It 
called, would probably do nothing more than advise 
a mutual council and adjourn. 

Notb 5.— Any church can well afford to grant a 
re-hearing to an excluded member. It would be Uj 


the Interest of peace, justice, and reconciliation. If 
the church be right, It can afford to be generous. 

Not» ft. — Any church hag the right to receive a 
member excluded from another church, since each 
ehurch is sole judge of the qualification of persons 
received to Its fellowship. But any church so ap- 
pealed to would use great caution, and, with due 
regard to its own peace and purity, ascertain all the 
facts in the case before taking such action. 

Not* 7. — If a mutual council be called, one-half 
the messengers and members are to be chosen by the 
ihurch and one-half by the aggrieved party ; but the 
letter* miisiw calling the council are to be sent out by 
end in the name of the church, and not of the ag- 
grieved party. But these facts, as to the mutual call, 
we to be stated in the letters. 

Nots 8. — A church excluding a member has no 
just cause of complaint against another church for 
receiving such an excluded member, since the one 
ihurch is just as independent to receive one whom it 
ludges worthy of fellowship, as the other is to exclude 
one whom it judged unworthy of fellowship. 




The business meetings of a church should 
be conducted as much as possible in the 
spirit of devotion, and under a sense of the 
propriety and sanctity which attaches to all 
the interests of the kingdom of Christ. 
Meetings for business should not be need- 
lessly multiplied, nor should they be un« 
wisely neglected. It may not be wise to 
insist too rigidly on the observance of par- 
liamentary rules, yet it is still worse to drift 
into a loose unbusinesslike way, which 
wastes time, accomplishes little, and doe* 
wrongly much that is done. 


1. The meetings to be opened with read- 
ing the Scriptures, singing, and prayer. 

2. The reading, correction, and approval 
o£ the minutes of the preceding meeting. 

3. Unfinished business, or such as the 


minutes present, including reports of oom- 
mittee taken in order. 

4. New business will next be taken up. 

Any member may call up new business. 

But important matters should not be pre- 

1 sented, except on previous consultation with 

the pastor and deacons. 

Notb 1. — The pastor is, by virtue of his office, mod- 
erator of all church business meetings. If he be not 
present, or do not wish to serve, any one may be 
elected to take the place. 

Notb 2. — All business meetings, both regular and 
special, should be announced from the pulpit one 
Sunday, at least, before they are held. 

Notb 8. — Special meetings for business may be 
called at any time, by consent of the pastor and dea 
cons, or by such other methods as the church itself 
may direct. 

Notb 4.— Though a majority usually decides ques- 
tions, yet in all matters of special importance a unan- 
imous, or nearly unanimous, vote should be secured. 

Notb 5.— Members may be received, and letters of 
dismission granted, either at the business church 
meeting, the covenant meeting, or the regular weekly 
prayer meeting, the church so directing. Some fixed 
method should be observed. 

Notb 0.— Candidates for admission to membership 
will be expected to retire from the meeting when 
action is taken on their reception. . 

Notb 7. — No persons, except members, will be presv 
•nt during the transaction of church business* If 
present, tcey may be asked to retire. 


Not* 8.— Although the church should endeavor to 
do nothing' which Its members will be ashamed or 
afraid to hare known by others, yet every member is 
bound, by the honor of a Christian, not to publish 
abroad, nor disclose to those without, the private 
affairs and business transactions of the body. 


The following constitute the generally 
accepted rules of order for churches and 
other deliberative bodies in business pro- 
ceedings : 


1. All business shall be presented by a 
motion, made by one member, and seconded 
by another, and presented in writing by the 
mover, if so required. 

2. No discussion can properly be had 
until the motion is made, seconded, and 
stated by the chairman. 

3. A motion cannot be withdrawn after 
it has been discussed, except by the unani- 
mous consent of the body. 

4. A motion having been discussed, must 
be put to vote, unless withdrawn, laid on 
the table, referred, or postponed. 

5. A motion lost should not be recorded, 
except so ordered by the body at the time. 

6. A motion lost cannot be renewed at the 
lame meeting, except by unanimous consent. 


7. A motion should contain but one dis- 
tinct proposition. If it contains more, it 
must be divided at the request of any mem- 
ber, and the propositions acted on sepa- 

8. Only one question can properly be be- 
fore the meeting at the same time. No sec- 
ond motion can be allowed to interrupt 
one already under debate, except a motion 
to amend, to substitute, to commit, to post- 
pone, to lay on the table, for the previous 
question, or to adjourn. 

9. These subsidiary motions just named 
cannot be interrupted by any other motion ; 
nor can any other motion be applied to 
them, except that to amend, which may be 
done by specifying some time, place, or pur- 

10. Nor can these motions interrupt or 
supersede each other ,' only that a motion to 
adjourn is always in order, except while a 
member has the floor, or a question is being 
taken, and in some bodies even then. 

1. Amendments may be made to resolu- 
tions in three ways : By omitting, by adding, 
or by substituting words or sentence*. 


2. An amendment to an amendment maj 
be made, but is seldom necessary, and should 
be avoided. 

3. No amendment should be made which 
essentially changes the meaning or deiiigD 
of the original resolution. 

4. But a substitute may be offered, which 
may change entirely the meaning of the res- 
olution under debate. 

6. The amendment must first be discussed 
and acted on, and then the original resolu- 
tion as amended. 


1. Any member desiring to speak on a 
question should rise in his place, and address 
the moderator, confine his remarks to the 
question, and avoid all unkind and disre- 
spectful language. 

2. A speaker using improper language, 
introducing improper subjects, or otherwise 
out of order, should be called to order by 
the chairman, or any member, and must 
either conform to the regulations of the 
body, or take his seat. 

3. A member while speaking can allow 
others to ask questions, or make explana- 


tions ; but if he yields the floor to another, 
he cannot claim it again as his right. 

4. If two members rise to speak at the 
same time, preference is usually given to 
the one farthest from the chair, or to the 
one opposing the question under discussion. 

5, The fact that a person has several 
times arisen, and attempted to get the floor, 
gives him no claim or right to be heard. 
Nor does a call for the question deprive a 
member of his right to speak. 


1. A question is put to vote by the chair- 
man having first distinctly re-stated it, that 
all may vote intelligently. First, the af- 
firmative, then the negative is called ; each 
so deliberately as to give all an opportunity 
of voting. He then distinctly announces 
whether the motion is carried, or lost 

2. Voting is usually done by " aye " and 
" no," or by raising the hand. In a doubt- 
ful case by standing and being counted. 
On certain questions by ballot. 

3. If the vote, as announced by the 
chairman, is doubted, it is called again, 
usually by standing to be counted. 

4. All members should vote, unless for 


reasons excused ; or unless under dis- 
cipline, in which case they should take no 
part in the business. 

5. The moderator does not usually vote, 
except the question be taken by ballot ; but 
when the meeting is equally divided, he is 
expected, but is not obliged to give the 
casting vote. 

6. When the vote is to be taken by 
ballot, the chairman appoints tellers, to dis- 
tribute, collect, and count the ballots. 


1. Committees are nominated by the 
chairman, if so directed by the body, or by 
any member; and the nomination is con- 
firmed by a vote of the body. More com- 
monly the body directs that all committees 
shall be appointed by the chairman, in 
which case no vote is needed to confirm. 

2. Any matter of business, or subject 
under debate, may be referred to a com- 
mittee, with or without instructions. The 
committee make their report, which is the 
result of their deliberations. The body 
then takes action on the report, and on 
any recommendations it may contain. 

3. The report of a committee is accepted 


by a vote, which acknowledges their services, 
and takes the report before the body for its 
action. Afterward, any distinct recom- 
mendation contained in the report is acted 
on, and may be adopted or rejected. 

4. Frequently, however, when the recom- 
mendations of the committee are of a 
trifling moment or likely to be generally 
acceptable, the report is accepted and adopted 
by the same vote. 

5. A report may be recommitted to the 
committee, with or without instructions ; or 
that committee discharged, and the matter 
referred to a new one, for further considera- 
tion, so as to present it in a form more 
likely to meet the general concurrence of 
the body. 

6. A committee may be appointed with 
power for a specific purpose. This gives 
them power to dispose conclusively of the 
matter, without further reference to the body. 

7. The first named in the appointment 
of a committee is by courtesy considered 
the chairman. But the committee has the 
right to name its own chairman. 

8. The member who moves the appoint- 
ment of a committee is usually tban^V *-* 
necessarily, named its chairman 


9. Committees of arrangement, or foi 
other protracted service, report progress 
from time to time, and are continued until 
their final report, or until their appointment 
expires by limitation. 

10. A committee is discharged by a vote, 
when its business is done, and its report ac- 
cepted. But usually, in routine business, a 
committee is considered discharged by the 
acceptance of its report. 

Standing Committee. 

A committee appointed to act for a given 
period or during the recess of the body is 
called a standing committee. It has charge 
of a given department of business assigned 
by the body, and acts either with power, 
under instructions, or at discretion, as may 
be ordered. A standing commiteee is sub- 
stantially a minor board, and has its own 
chairman, secretary, records, and times of 


The moderator announces all votes, and 
decides all questions as to rules of proceed- 
ing, and order of debate. But any member 
who is dissatisfied with his decisions may 


appeal from them to the body. The mod- 
erator then puts the question, "Shall the 
decision of the chair be sustained f" The 
vote of the body, whether negative or af- 
firmative, is final. The right of appeal is 
undeniable, but should not be resorted to 
on trivial occasions. 

Previous Question, 
Debate may be cut short by a vote to 
take the previous question. This means that 
the original, or main question under discus- 
sion, be immediately voted on, regardless of 
amendments and secondary questions, and 
without further debate. Usually a two- 
thirds vote is necessary to order the pre- 
vious question. 

1. If the motion for the previous ques- 
tion be carried, then the main question must 
be immediately taken, without further de- 

2. If the motion for the previous ques- 
tion be lost, the debate proceeds, as though 
no such motion had been made. 

3. If the motion for the previous ques- 
tion be lost, it cannot be renewed with refer- 
ence to the same question, during the 


To Lay on the Table. 
Immediate and decisive action on any 
question under discussion may be deferred, 
by a vote to lay on the table the resolution 
pending. This disposes of the whole sub- 
ject for the present, and ordinarily is in 
effect a final dismissal of it. But any mem- 
ber has the right subsequently to call it up; 
and the body will decide by vote whether, 
or not, it shall be taken from the table. 

1. Sometimes, however, a resolution is 
laid on the table for the present, or until a 
specified time, to give place to other business. 

2. A motion to lay on the table must 
apply to a resolution, or other papers. An 
abstract subject cannot be disposed of in 
this way. 

A simple postponement is for a specified 
time or purpose, the business to be resumed 
when the time or purpose is reached. But 
a question indefinitely postponed is considered 
as finally dismissed. 

Not Debatable. 
Certain motions, by established usage, are 
not debatable, but when once before the body, 
must be taken without discussion. 


These are : The previous question, for wv 
definite postponement, to commit, to lay on the 
table, to adjourn. 

But when these motions are modified by 
some condition of time, place, or purpose, 
they become debatable, and subject to the 
rules of other motions ; but debatable only in 
respect to the time, place, or purpose which 
brings them within the province of debate. 

A body is, however, competent, by a vote, 
to allow debate on all motions. 

To Reconsider. 

A motion to reconsider a motion pre- 
viously passed must be made by one who 
voted for the motion when it passed. 

If the body votes to reconsider, then the 
motion or resolution being reconsidered 
stands before them as previous to its passage, 
and may be discussed, adopted, or rejected. 

A vote to reconsider should be taken at 
the same session at which the vote reconsid- 
ered was passed, and when there are as 
many members present. 

Be Discussed. 
If, when a question is introduced, any 
member objects to its discussion, as foreign, 


profitless, or contentious, the moderator 
ihould at once put the question, " Shall this 
motion be discussed f " If this question be 
decided in the negative, the subject must be 

Order of the Day. 
The body may decide to take up some 
definite business at a specified time. That 
business therefore becomes the order of the 
day, for that hour. When the time men- 
tioned arrives, the chairman calls the busi- 
ness, or any member may demand it, with 
or without a vote ; and all pending ques- 
tions are postponed in consequence. 

Point of Order. 
Any member who believes that a speaker 
is out of order, or that discussion is pro- 
ceeding improperly, may at any time rise to 
a point of order. He must distinctly state 
his question or objection, which the moder- 
ator will decide. 

Questions relating to the rights and priv- 
ilege* of members are of primary import- 
ance, and, until disposed of, take precedence 


of all other business, and supersede all other 
motions, except that of adjournment. 

Rule Suspended, 
A rule of order may be suspended by a 
vote of the body, to allow the transaction 
of business necessary, but which could not 
otherwise be done without a violation of 
such rule. 

Filling Blanks. 
Where different numbers are suggested 
for filling blanks, the highest number, great- 
est distance, and longest time are usually 
voted on first. 


1. A simple motion to adjourn is always 
in order, except while a member is speak- 
ing, or when taking a vote. It takes pre- 
cedence of all other motions, and is not 

2. In some deliberative bodies, a motion 
to adjourn is in order while a speaker has 
the floor, or a vote is being taken, the busi- 
ness to stand, on reassembling, precisely as 
when adjournment took place. 

3. A body may adjourn to a specific 


tune; but if no time be mentioned, the 
axed, or usual time of meeting, is under- 
stood. If there be no fixed, or usual time 
of meeting, then an adjournment without 
iate is equivalent to a dissolution. 




All evangelical churches profess to tak* 
the Holy Scriptures as their only and suffi- 
cient guide in matters of religious faith and 
practice. Baptists, especially, claim to have 
no authoritative creed except the New Testa- 
ment. It is common, however, for the 
churches to have formulated statements of 
what are understood to be the leading Chris- 
tian doctrines, printed and circulated among 
their members. These are not uniform 
among the churches, but are in substantial 
agreement as to the doctrines taught. In- 
deed, each church is at liberty to prepare its 
own confession, or have none at all ; no one 
form being held as binding and obligatory 
on the churches to adopt. Members, on 
being received to fellowship, are not re- 
quired to subscribe or pledge conformity 
to any creed -form, but are expected to yield 
substantial agreement to that which the 
church with which they unite has adopted. 


Inere are two Confessions which have 
gained more general acceptance than any 
others, and are now being widely adopted 
by the churches over the country. As to 
substance of doctrine, they do not essentially 
differ. That known as the New Hampshire 
Confession is commonly used by the churches 
North, East, and West ; while that known 
as the Philadelphia Confession, is very gen- 
erally in use in the South and Southwest. 
The former is much more brief, and for that 
reason preferred by many. The other it 
substantially the London Confession of 
Faith, published by English Baptists in 
1689. It is much more full in statement 
than the other, and is higher in its tone as 
to the doctrines of grace. 

American Baptists are decidedly Calvin- 
istic as to substance of doctrine, but moder- 
ately so, being midway between the ex- 
tremes of Arminianism and Antinomianism. 
Though diversities of opinion may incline to 
either extreme, the " general atonement M view 
is for the most part held, while the " par- 
ticular atonement" theory is maintained by 
not a few. The freedom of the human will 
is declared, while the sovereignty of divine 
grace, and the absolute necessity of the 


Spirit's work in faith and salvation are 
maintained. They practice " strict commu- 
nion," as do their mission churches in 
foreign lands. In Great Britain Baptists 
are sharply divided between "strict and 
free communion," and between the particu- 
lar and the general atonement theories. 

The New Hampshire Confession with a 
few verbal changes, is here inserted. A 
part of the proof texts usually accompany- 
ing these articles are, for want of space, 
omitted. 1 



We believe that the Holy Bible was writ- 
ten by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect 
treasure of heavenly instruction j 1 that it has 
God for its author, salvation for its end, and 
truth without any mixture of error for its 
matter;* that it reveals the principles by 
which God will judge us ;• and therefore is, 
and shall remain to the end of the world, 
the true centre of Christian union, and the 

i For a fuller account of these Confeuions, eee the 
Church Direotory." 


supreme standard by which all human con- 
duct, creeds, and opinions should be tried. 

1 2 Tim. 8 : 16, 17. All Scripture Is given by Inspiration of 
God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, 
for instruction in righteousness ; that the man of God mar be 
perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Also, 2 Pet. 
1 : 21 ; 2 Sam. 23 : 2 ; Acts 1 : 16. 

* ProT. 30 : 5, 6. Every word of God is pure. Add thou not 
unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. 
Also, John 17 : 17; Rev. 22 : 18, 19; Bom. 3 : 4. 

* Rom. 2 : 12. As many as hare sinned in the law, shall be 
judged by the law. John 12 : 47, 48. If any man hear my 
words— the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him 
in the last day. Also, 1 Cor. 4 : 3, 4 ; Luke 10 : 10-16 ; 12 : 47,4* 


We believe the Scriptures teach that there 
is one, and only one, living and true God, 
an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is 
Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler 
of Heaven and Earth: 1 inexpressibly glo- 
rious in holiness, 2 and worthy of all possible 
honor, confidence, and love; 8 that in the 
unity of the Godhead there are three per- 
sons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy 
Ghost; 4 equal in every divine perfection, 
and executing distinct but harmonious offices 
in the great work of redemption. 

* John 4 : 24. God is a Spirit. Ps. 147 : 5. His understanding 
b infinite. Ps. 88 : 18. Thou whose name alone is JEHOVAH, 
art the Most High over all the earth. Heb. 8:4; Bom. 1 : 20 ; 
Jer. 10 : 10. 

* Exod. 16 : 11. Who is like unto thee— glorious in holiness f 
Urn. f : 8 ; 1 Peter 1 : 16, 16 ; Bev. 4 : 6-8. 


•Murk 12 : 80. Thou •halt lore the Lord thy God with all 
thy heart, and with ell thy soul, end with ell thy mind, end 
with ell thy strength. Ber. 4:11. Thou art worthy, O Lord 
io receive glory, end honour, end power. Matt. 10 : 87 ; Jar, 2 : 

« Matt 28 : It . Go ye therefore end teach all nations, baptla- 
kng them in the name of the Father, end of the Son, end of the 
Holy Ghost. John 15 : 26 ; 1 Cor. 12 : 4-6. 


We believe the Scriptures teach that man 
was created in holiness, under the law of his 
Maker; 1 but by voluntary transgresson fell 
from that holy and happy state;* in conse- 
quence of which all mankind are now sin- 
ners, 1 not by constraint but choice ; being 
by nature utterly void of that holiness re- 
quired by the law of God, positively inclined 
to evil ; and therefore under just condemna- 
tion 4 without defense or excuse.* 

1 Gen. 1 : 27. God created man in hie own image. Gen. 1 : 8L 
And God taw everything that he had made, and behold, it wae 
rery good. EocL 7 : 29 ; Acta 17 : 26 ; Gen. 2 : 16. 

• Gen. 8 : 6-24. And when the woman aaw that the tree wae 
good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree 
to be desired to make one wise ; she took of the fruit thereof 
and did eat ; and gare also unto her husband with her, and he 
did eat. Bom. 5 : 12. 

* Bom. 5 : 19. By one man's disobedience many were made 
sinners. John 8 : 6; Ps. 51 : 5; Bom. 5 : 15-19; 8 : 7. 

* Eph. 2 : 8. Among whom also we all had our oonYersation in 
times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the 
aesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of 
wrath even as others. 

• Back. 18 : 19, 20. The soul that sinneth it shall die. Bom. 
1 : ». So that they are without excuse. Bom. 8 : 19. That 
every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become 
guilty before God. Gal. 8 : 22. 



We believe the Scriptures teach that the 
salvation of sinners is wholly of grace j J 
through the mediatorial offices of the Sod 
of God ; * who, according to the will of the 
Father, became man, yet without sin ; • 
honored the divine law by his personal 
obedience, and by his death made a full 
atonement for our sins-; 4 that having risen 
from the dead, he is now enthroned in 
heaven ; and uniting in his wonderful per- 
son the tenderest sympathies with divine 
perfections, he is every way qualified to be 
a suitable, a compassionate and an all-suffi- 
cient Saviour. • 

i Eph. 3:8. By grace ye are sayed. Matt. 18 : 11 ; 1 John 4: 
10; 1 Cor. 8: 8-7; Acts 15: 1L 

I John 8 : 16. For God so lored the world that he gare hie 
onlr begotten Son, that whosoever heliereth in him should not 
perish, oat hare everlasting Ufa. 

• PhiL 2: 6, 7. Who being in the form of God. thought It 
not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no 
reputation, and took upon him the form of a ■errant, and wai 
made In the likeness of men. 

• lea. 88: 4, 8. He was wounded for ear transgressions, he 
waa bruised for our iniquities ; the chastisement of our peso* 
was upon him ; and with his stripes we are healed. 

• Heb. 7 : 26. Wherefore he is able also to sure them to the 
uttermost that oome unto God by him, seeing he •rex lrreth te 
make intercession for them. CoL 2 : 9. For in him dwellath 
all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 




We believe the Scriptures teach that the 
great gospel blessing which Christ * secures 
to such as believe in him is justification ; ' 
that justification includes the pardon of 
sin/ and the gift of eternal life on principles 
of righteousness ; that it is bestowed, not in 
consideration of any works of righteousness 
which we have done, but solely through 
faith in Christ ; by means of which faith 
his perfect righteousness is freely imputed 
to us by God ; * that it brings us into a 
state of most blessed peace and favor with 
God, and secures every other blessing need- 
ful for time and eternity. 8 

i John 1:18. Of his fulness hare all we receded. Bph. 

« Acts 13 : 89. By Mm all that bclierc are justified from all 
things. Is*, 8:11, 12; Rom. 5: 1. 

> Rom. 5 : 9. Being Justified by his blood, we shall be eared 
from wrath through him. Zeoh. 18 : 1 ; Matt. 9:8; Act* 10: 48 

« Bom. 8: 19. By the obedience of one shall many be made 
righteous. Bom. 8: 24-28; 4: 28-36; Uohn 2: 12. 

• Bom. 5 : 1, 2. Being justified by faith, we hare peace with 
God, through our Lord Jesus Christ : by whom also we hare 
access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice 
in hope of the glory of God. 


We believe the Scriptures teach that the 
blessings of salvation are made free to all 


by the gospel : l that it is the immediate 
duty of all to accept them by a cordial, 
penitent, and obedient faith ;* and that 
nothing prevents the salvation of the great- 
est sinner on earth but his own determined 
depravity and voluntary rejection of the 
gospel; 8 which rejection involves him in 
an aggravated condemnation. 4 

1 Is*. 66 : 1. Ho. every one that thirsteth, come ye to the 
waters. Bev. 22 : 17. Whosoever will let him take the water 
of life freely. 

* Acts 17 : 30. And the times of this ignorance God winked 
at, hut now commandeth all men everywhere to repent. Bom, 
16: 26 ; Mark 1 : 15 ; Rom. 1 : 15-17. 

8 John 5 : 40. Ye will not oome to me, that ye might hare 
life. Matt. 23: 37; Bom. 9:32. 

« John 3: 19. And this Is the condemnation, that light is 
oome into the world, and men loved darkness rather than 
light because their deeds were evil. Matt 11 : 20 ; Luke 19 : 27 ; 
IThess. 1:8. 


We believe the Scriptures teach that in 
order to be saved, men must be regenerated, 
or born again; 1 that regeneration consists 
in giving a holy disposition to the mind ; * 
that it is effected in a manner above our 
comprehension by the Holy Spirit, in con- 
nection with divine truth, s so as to secure 
our voluntary obedience to the gospel ; 4 
and that its proper evidence appears in the 


holy fruits of repentance, faith, and newness 
of life. 1 

1 John 8 : 3. Verily, rerily, I say unto thee, except a ma& 
he born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. JohnS: 
6, T; 1 Cor. 1: 14; Ber. 8:^-9; ReT. 21: 27. 

* 2 Cor. 5: 17. If any man be in Christ, he la a new creature. 
Back. 36 : 28 ; Dcut, 30: 6 ; Bom. 2 : 28, 29. 

• John 8 : 8. The wind blowetb where it listeth, and thoo 
bearcat the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, 
and whither it goeth ; so is every one that is born of the 
Spirit John 1 : 13 ; James 1 : 10-18 ; 1 Cor. 1 : 80 ; Phil. 2 : 13. 

« 1 Peter 1 : 22 : 26. Ye hare purified your souls in obeying 
the truth through the Spirit. 1 John 5:1; Eph. 4 : 20-24 ; Cot 
3 : 9-11. 

» Eph. 5 : 9. The fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and 
righteousness, and truth. Bom. 8:8, Gal. 5: 18-23; Enh. » 
14-21 ; Matt. 3 : 8-10 ; 7 : 20 ; 1 John 5 : 4, 18. 


We believe the Scriptures teach that re- 
pentance and faith are sacred duties, and 
also inseparable graces, wrought in the soul 
by the regenerating Spirit of God ; l where- 
by being deeply convinced of our guilt, 
danger, and helplessness, and of the way of 
salvation by Christ, 1 we turn to God with 
unfeigned contrition, confession, and suppli- 
cation for mercy ; at the same time heartily 
receiving the Lord Jesus as our prophet, 
priest, and king, and relying on him alone 
as the only and all-sufficient Saviour. * 

» Mark 1 : 15. Repent ye, and beliere the gospeL Acts 11 : 
18. Then hath Goo also to the Gentiles granted repentanet 


■ato life. fiph. 2:8. By grace ye are saved through faith; 
and that not of yourselves ; it is the gift of God. 1 John 8 : L 

* John 16 : S. He will reprove the world of sin, and of right* 
eousness, and of judgment. Acta 11 : 38. Then Peter eaid unto 
them, Repent, and be baptized every one of yon in the 
of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Acts 16 : 80, 81. 

• Romans 10:9-11. If thou shalt confess with thy m 
the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath 
ra'-wjd him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Acts 3 : 22, 28 ; 
Heb. 4 : 14. 

ix. god's purpose op grace. 

We believe the Scriptures teach that elec- 
tion is the eternal purpose of God, accord- 
ing to which he graciously regenerates, sanc- 
tifies, and saves sinners ; * that being per- 
fectly consistent with the free agency of 
man, it comprehends all the means in con- 
nection with the end ; * that it is a most 
glorious display of God's sovereign good- 
ness ; s that it utterly excludes boasting, and 
promotes humility ; 4 that it encourages the 
use of means ; that it may be ascertained 
by its effects in all who truly accept of 
Christ * ; that it is the foundation of Chris- 
tian assurance ; and that to ascertain it with 
regard to ourselves demands and deserves 
the utmost diligence. 6 

1 2 Tim 1:8.1. But he thou partaker of the affliction* of the 
gospel, according to the power of God ; who hath saved as and 
sailed us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but 
to his own purpose and grace which was gWen as i» 

Oerist Jesus before the world beean. 


>S Thee*. 2 : 13, 14. Bat we are bound to fire thanks aiwayt 
to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God 
hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through 
aanetification of the Spirit and belief of the truth ; w hereunto 
he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

8 1 Cor. 4 : 7. For who maketh thee to differ from another f 
and what hast thou that thou did«t not receive? Now if thou 
didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not re- 
ceived it ? 1 Cor. 1 : 26-31 ; Rom. 8 : 27. 

« 2 Tim. 2 : 10. Therefore I endure all things for the electa' 
sake, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ 
Jesus with eternal glory. 1 Cor. 9 : 22; Rom. 8 : 28-30. 

* 1 These. 4 : 10. Knowing, brethren beloved, your election 
of God. 

• 2 Peter 1 : 10, 11. Wherefore the rather, brethren, giTe dill- 

Ssnce to make your calling and election sure. PhiL8:12; 
eh 6 : 11. 

snce to make your calling and election sure. 

We believe the Scriptures teach that sanc- 
tification is the process by which, according 
to the will of God, we are made partakers 
of his holiness ; * that it is a progressive 
work ; * that it is begun in regeneration ; 
that it is carried on in the hearts of believ- 
ers by the presence aud power of the Holy 
Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the con- 
tinual use of the appointed means — espe- 
cially |the word of God — self-examination, 
self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer ; 8 and 
in the practice of all godly exercises and 
duties. 4 

i 1 Thees. 4 : 8. For this is the will of God, even yoor sanotift- 
Ation. 1 Thees. 5 : 23. And the very God of peace sanctify 
ron wholly. 2 Cor. 7 : 1; 18 : 9; Eph. 1 : 4. 


•FroY. 4 : 18. The path of the just is as the shining light, 
which shine th more and more, unto the perfect day. 

•Phil. 1 : 12, 13. Work out your own salvation with fear and 
trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and 
to do, of his good pleasure. Eph. 4 : 11, 12 ; 1 Peter 2 : 2 ; 2 
Peter 8 : 18; 2 Cor. 13 : 5; Luke 11 : 35; 9 : 23; Matk 26 : ilj 
Eph. 6 : 18 ; 4 : 30. 

* 1 Tim 4 : 7. Exercise thyself unto godliness. 


We believe the Scriptures teach that such 
as are truly regenerate, being born of the 
Spirit, will not utterly fall away and perish, 
but will endure unto the end ; * that their 
persevering attachment to Christ is the 
grand mark which distinguishes them from 
superficial professors ; 8 that a special Provi- 
dence watches over their welfare ; ' and that 
they are kept by the power of God through 
faith unto salvation. 4 

J John 8:81. Then said Jesus, If ye contiue in my word, 
then are ye my disciples indeed. 1 John 2 : 27, 28. 

> John 2 : 19. They went out from us, but they were not ©J 
us ; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have con- 
tinued with us ; but they went out that it might be made mani- 
fest that they were not all of us. 

8 Rom. 8:28. And we know all things work together foi 
good unto them that love God, to them who are the called ac- 
cording to his purpose. Matt. 6 : 80-83 ; Jer. 32 . 40. 

* Phil. 1:6. He who hath begun a good work in you wiB 
perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. PhiL 2 : 12, 18. 


We believe the Scriptures teach that the 
law of God is the eternal and unchangeable 


rule of his moral government ; l that it if 
holy, just, and good ; ' and that the inability 
which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men 
to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from 
their sinful nature ; ' to deliver them from 
which, and to restore them through a Medi- 
ator to unfeigned obedience to the holy law, 
is one great end of the gospel, and of th« 
means of grace connected with the establish- 
ment of the visible church. 4 

I Bom. 8 : 81. Do we make roid the law through frith r God 
forbid. Yea, we establish the law Matt. 5 : 17; Luke 18 : 17 j 
Rom. 8:20; 4:15. 

* Rom. 7 : 12. The law is holy, and the commandment holy, 
and jnst, and good. Rom. 7 : 7, 14, 22 ; OaL 8 : 21 ; Ps. 119. 

•Rom. 8 : 7, 8. The carnal mind is enmity against God ; tot 
It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So 
then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 

« Rom. 8 : 2, 4. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ 
Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For 
what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the 
flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, 
and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh : that the righteousness 
of the law might be fulfilled in ns, who walk not alter the flesh 
bat after the Spirit. 


We believe the Scriptures teach that » 
visible Church of Christ is a company of 
baptized believers, 1 associated by covenant 
in the faith and fellowship of the gospel • l 
observing the ordinances of Christ;* gov- 
erned by his laws ; 4 and exercising the 


gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them 
by his word ; * that its only scriptural offi- 
cers are bishops or pastors, and deacons,* 
whose qualifications, claims, and duties are 
defined in the Epistles to Timothy and 

» Acts 2 : 41. 42. Then they that gladly received Ma word 
were baptized ; and the same day there were added to these 
about three thousand souls. 

*2 Cor. 8 : 5. They first gave their own solve* to the Lord, 
and unto us by the will of God. 

» 1 Cor. 11 : 2. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remain- 
ber me in all things, a ad keep the ordinances as I delivered 
them to you. 

« Matt. 28 : 20. Teaching them to observe all things what- 
soever I have commanded you. John 14 : 15. 

* 1 Cor. 14 : 12. Seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the 

•Phil. 1 : 1. With the bishops and deacons. Acta 14 : 28; 
15:22. lTim.3. Titus 1. 


We believe the Scriptures teach that 
Christian baptism is the immersion in water 
of a believer in Christ, i into the name of 
the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost;* 
to show forth in a solemn and beautiful em- 
blem his faith in the crucified, buried, and 
risen Saviour, with its effect, in his death to 
sin and resurrection to a new life ; 8 that it 
is prerequisite to the privileges of a church 
relation, and to the Lord's Supper. 4 


i Acts 8:36-39. And the eunuch said, See, here is 
what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thon 
believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. . . . And they went 
down into the water, both Philip ana the eunuch, and he bap- 
tised him. Matt. 3 : 5, 6 ; John 3 : 22, 23 ; 4 : 1, 2 ; Matt. 28 : 19. 

•Matt. 18 : 19. Baptizing them in the name of the Father 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Acts 10 : 47, 48: Gal. 

• Rom. 6 : 4. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism 
Into death ; that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the 
' the Father, even so we also, should walk in newness 
Col. 2 : 12. 

rlory of 
of life. 

* Acts 2 : 41, 42. Then they that gladly received his word 
were baptized, and there were added to them, the same day, 
about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly 
In the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of 
bread, and in prayers. Matt. 28 : 19, 20. 


We believe the Scriptures teach that the 
Lord's Supper is a provision of bread and 
wine, representing Christ's body and blood, 
partaken of by the members of the church 
assembled for that purpose, 1 in commemora- 
tion of the death of their Lord, 8 showing 
their faith and participation in the merits 
of his sacrifice, their dependence on him 
for spiritual life and nourishment,* and their 
hope of life eternal through his resurrection 
from the dead ; its observance to be pre- 
ceded by faithful self-examination. 4 

i Lake 22 : 19, 20. And he took bread, and gave thanks and 
brake, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body, which Is 
given for you ; this do in remembrance of me. Likewise the 
tup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in ay 
blood, which is shed for you. Mark 14 : 20-26 ; Matt. 26 : 27-30; 
1 Cor. 11 : 27-80 ; 1 Cor. 10 : 16. 


■ i Cor. 11 : 36. For as oft as ye eat this bread, and drink 
this ©up, ye do shew the Lord's death until he come. Matt. 

» John 5 : 85, 54, 56. Jesus said unto them, I am the bread 
of life. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath 
eternal life. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood 
dwelleta in me, and I in him, 

* 1 Cor. 11 : 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let 
trim eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. Acta 2 : 42, 46 ; 
20 : 7, 11. 


We believe the Scriptures teach, that. the 
first day of the week is the Lord's Day, 1 
and is to be kept sacred to religious pur- 
poses s by abstaining from all secular labor, 
except works of mercy and necessity ; * by 
the devout observance of all the means of 
grace, both private and public; 4 and by 
preparation for that rest that remaineth for 
the people of God. 

* Acts 20 : 7. On the first day of the week, when the disciples 
came together to break bread, Paul preached to them. 

> Exod. 20 : 8. Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep It holy. 
Rev. 1 : 10. I waa in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. Ps. 118 : 24. 

» lea. 58 : 13, 14. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sab- 
bath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day ; and call the 
Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord honourable ; and shalt 
honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own 

Bleasure, nor speaking thine own words ; then shall thou de- 
ght thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon 
the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of 
Jacob. Isa.56:2-8. 

* Heb. 10 : 24, 25. Not forsaking the assembling of yourselYea 
together, as the manner of some is. Acta 13 : 44 The next 
Babbath Day came almost the whole city together to hear th* 
word of God. 



We believe the Scriptures teach that civi 
government is of divine appointment, for 
the interest and good order of human so- 
ciety ; * and that magistrates are to be prayed 
for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed ; * 
except only in things opposed to the will of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who is the only 
Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of 
the kings of the earth. 4 

1 Bom. 13 : 1-7. The powers that be are ordained of God 
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil 

• Matt. 22 : 21. Render therefore unto Csesar the things that 
are Csesar's, and unto God the things that are God's. Titus 
1:1; 1 Peter 2: 13; lTim.2:l-8. 

» Acta 5 : 29. We onght to obey God rather than man. Matt. 
10 : 28. Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to 
kill the soul. Dan. 8 : 15-18 ; 6 : 7, 10; Acts 4 : 18-20. 

*Matt. 23 : 10. Ye have one Master, even Christ. Rev. 10: 
14. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name writ* 
ten, Krse or kings and Loan op lords. Ps, 72 : 11 ; Pi. 2 ; 
Rom. 14 : 0-13. 


We believe the Scriptures teach that there 
is a radical and essential difference between 
the righteous and the wicked ; 1 that such only 
as are regenerate, being justified through 
faith in Jesus Christ and sanctified by the 
Spirit of God, are truly righteous in his 
esteem ; * while all such as continue in im- 


penitence and unbelief are, in his sight, 
wicked and under the curse ; * and this dis- 
tinction holds among men, both in and after 
death. 4 

1 Mai. 8 : 18. Ye shall discern between the righteous and tut 
wicked ; between him that servetb God and him that serretlt 
him not Prov. 12:26; Isa.5:20; Gen. 18 : 23 ; Jer. 16 : 19 : 
Acts 10: 84, 85; Bom. 6 ; 16. 

a Bom. 1 : 17. The just shall live by faith. 1 John 2 : 29. It 
re know that he is righteous, ye know that every oue that 
doeth righteousness is born of him. 1 John 3:7; Bom. 6 : 18, 
12; 1 Cor. 11 : 82; Prov. 11 : 31; 1 Peter 4 : 17, 18. 

* 1 John 5 : 19. And we know that we are of God, and the 
whole world lieth in wickedness. Gal. 3 : 10. As many as are 
of the works of the law, are under the curse. John 3 : 36 ; Iaa. 
67:21; Ps. 10:4; Isa. 56 : 6, 7. 

« Prov. 14:32. The wicked is driven away in his wicked- 
ness, but the righteous hath hope in his death. Luke 16 : 25. 
Thou in thy lifetime receivedBt thy good things, and likewise 
Lazarus evil things ; but now he is comforted, and thou art 
tormented. John 8 : 21-24 ; Prov. 10 : 24 ; Luke 12 : 4, 6; 11 . 
13-26 ; John 12 : 25, 26: Eccl. 3 : 17. 


We believe the Scriptures teach that the 
~ of the world is approaching ; x that at 
the last day Christ will descend from 
heaven, 8 and raise the dead from the grave 
for final retribution j 3 that a solemn separ- 
ation will then take place ; * that the wicked 
will be adjudged to endless sorrow, and the 
righteous to endless joyj* and that this 
judgment will fix forever the £nal state of 


men in heaven or hell on principles of right- 

» 1 Peter 4 : 7. But the end of all things is at hand ; t» ye 
therefore sober, and watoh unto prayer. 1 Cor. 7 : 29-81 : Hab. 
1: 10-12; Matt. 24:36. 

1 AoU 1 : 11. This same Jesus which is taken up from yon 
into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him 
So into heaven. 

•Acts 24: 15. There shall be a resurrection of the dead, 
both of the just and unjust. 1 Cor. IS : 12-58; Luke 14 : 14; 
Dan. 12 : 2. 

*Matt. 18:49. The angels shall come forth, and sevr<r the 
wicked from among the just. Matt. 13 : 37-43; 24:80,31; 

'Matt. 25 : 35-41. And these shall go away into everlasting 
punishment, but the righteous into life eternal. Rev. 22 : 11. 
He that is unjust, let him be unjust still ; and he which if 
filthy, let him be filthy still ; and he that is righteous, let him 
b« ri'gnteous still ; and he that is holy, let him De holy still. 1 
Cor. 6 : 9, 10 ; Mark 9 : 43-48. 

•2 Thess. 1 : 6-12. Seeing it is a righteous thing with God 
to recompense tribulations to them who trouble you, and to 
you who are troubled, rest with us . . . when he shall oome to 
be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that 
believe. Heb. 6 : 1. 2 ; 1 Cor. 4:5; Acts 17 : 31 ; Rom. 2 : 2-16, 
Rev. 20 : 11. 12 ; 1 John 2 : 28 ; 4 : 17. 2 Peter 3 : 11, 12. Seeing 
then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner ox 
persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 
looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God? 


Having been, as we trust, brought by 
divine grace to embrace the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and to give ourselves wholly to him, 
we do now solemnly and joyfully covenant 
with each other to walk together is 

HIM, WITH BROTHERLY LOVE, to his glory, 


as our common Lord. We do, therefore, in 
his strength, engage — 

That we will exercise a Christian care 
and watchfulness over each other, and faith- 
fully warn, exhort, and admonish each other 
as occasion may require: 

That we will not forsake the assembling 
of ourselves together, but will uphold the 
public worship of God and the ordinances 
of his house : 

That we will not omit closet and family 
religion at home, nor neglect the great duty 
of religiously training our children, and 
those under our care, for the service of 
Christ and the enjoyment of heaven : 

That, as we are the .light of the world, 
and the salt of the earth, we will seek divine 
aid, to enable us to deny ungodliness and 
every worldly lust, and to walk circum- 
spectly in the world, that we may win the 
souls of men : 

That we will cheerfully contribute of our 
property, according as God has prospered 
us, for the maintenance of a faithful and 
evangelical ministry among us, for the sup- 
port of the poor, and to spread the gospel 
over the earth : 

That we will in all conditions, even till 


death, gtrive to live to the glory of him 
who hath called us out of darkness into his 
marvelous light. 

" And may the God of peace, who brought 
again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that 
great Shepherd of the sheep, through the 
blood of the everlasting covenant, make us 
perfect in every good work to do his will, 
working in us that which is well pleasing 
in his sight through Jesus Christ, to whom 
be glory, for ever and ever. Amen." 




A Christian church should be the un- 
compromising friend of all virtue, and the 
determined enemy of all vice. Public 
morality and social purity should find in it 
an open and earnest advocate and defender. 
Churches should bear in mind that Chris- 
tian morality, which constitutes their rule 
of life, claims a much higher standard than 
the morality of worldly society about them. 
Therefore their deportment should be such 
as to have a good report of them that are 
without, and command the respect of the 
world. Iu all this the pastor should be the 
wise but decided and courageous teacher, 
leader and exemplar for his people. 

There are certain questions of moral 
reform and social recreation with reference 
to which the churches are often much per- 
plexed, but with reference to which they 
should have settled convictions, and hold s 


well-defined attitude. It is not wise to put 
definitions and restrictions touching intem- 
perance, card playing, theatre going, danc- 
ing, and the like, into covenants or articles 
of faith. A bettei way is for the church, 
after due consideration, to pass standing 
resolutions on the subject, to be placed on 
its records as a guide to future action. 
Something like the following, to be varied 
at the option of the body, would serve as a 
declaration of principles: 

1. Resolved, That this church expects 
every member to contribute statedly for its 
pecuniary support, according to his ability, 
as God has prospered him, and that a re- 
fusal to do this will be considered a breach 
of covenant. 

2. Resolved, That this church will entertain 
and contribute statedly to Home and For- 
eign Missions, and to other leading objects 
of Christian benevolence, approved of and 
supported by our denomination. 

3. Resolved, That the religious education 
of the young and Bible study as repre- 
sented in Sunday-school work commend 
themselves to our confidence, and we will, 
to the extent of our ability, give them our 
sympathy and our aid, by both our persona] 


co-operation and contributions, and ex- 
pressed appreciation of all their legitimate 
aims and work. 

4. Resolved, That in our opinion, the use 
of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, and 
also the manufacture and sale of the same 
for such a purpose, are contrary to Christian 
morals, injurious to personal piety, and a 
hindrance to gospel truth, and that persons 
so using, making or selling, are thereby dis- 
qualified for membership in this church. 

5. Resolved, That we emphatically dis- 
countenance and condemn the practice of 
church members frequenting theatres and 
other similar places of public amusements, 
as inconsistent with a Christian profession, 
detrimental to personal piety, and pernicious 
in the influence of its example on others. 

6. Resolved, That the members of this 
church are earnestly requested not to pro- 
vide for, take part in, or by any means en- 
courage dancing or card playing ; but in all 
consistent ways to discountenance the same 
as a hindrance to personal godliness in their 
associations and tendencies, and an offense 
to brethren whom we should not willingly 




What is Christian baptism? This is 
the gravest question which enters into the 
baptismal controversy. Other questions of 
moment there are in connection with it, 
touching the design, the efficacy, and the 
subjects. But it is of primary importance 
to know what constitutes baptism. 

Baptists answer the question by saying 
that baptism is the immersion, dipping, or 
burying in water, of a professed believer in 
Christ, in the name of the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Spirit. 

Pedobaptists, both Roman Catholic and 
Protestant, answer the question by saying 
that baptism is either the sprinkling or 
pouring of water upon the candidate, touch- 
ing the forehead with wet fingers, or dipping 
the person wholly into water j in either case 
in the name of the Father, the Son, and 
the Spirit ; and that it may be administered 
to a candidate on his profession of faith, or 


fco an unconscious infant on the professed 
faith of parents or sponsors. This would 
make four kinds of baptism, and two 
classes of subjects for its reception ; and 
would consist rather in the application of 
water to the person, than putting the person 
into water. 

Baptists hold to a unity of the ordinance, 
as well as to a oneness of the faith ; insist- 
ing that as there is but one Lord, and one 
faith, so there is but one baptism. And the 
dipping in water of a professed disciple of 
Christ is that one baptism. Neither sprink- 
ling a person with water, nor pouring water 
upon him can by any possibility be Chris- 
tian baptism. That this position is the 
true one, we appeal to the New Testament, 
and the best extant historical and philo- 
logical authorities to establish. 

Let it be distinctly understood, however, 
that all the eminent names and learned 
authorities hereafter cited are Pedobaptists. 
Baptist authorities are wholly omitted, not 
because they are less accurate or less valu- 
able, but because we prefer to allow our 
opponents in this controversy to bear witness 
for us, rather than to testify in our own 



The word baptize is, properly speaking, 
a Greek word (baptizo), adapted to the En- 
glish language by a change in its termina- 
tion. This is the word always used by 
Christ and his apostles to express and define 
the ordinance. What does that word mean, 
as originally used ? For it is certain that 
our Lord, in commanding a rite to be ob- 
served by believers of all classes, in all 
lands, and through all ages, would use a 
word of positive and definite import, and 
one whose meaning would admit of no 
reasonable doubt. What do Greek scholars 
say? How do the Greek lexicons define 
the word ? 

Scapula says : " To dip, to immerse, as 
V3 do anything for the purpose of dyeing it." 

Schleusner says : "Properly it signifies 
to dip, to immerse, to immerse in water." 

Parkhurst says : " To dip, immerse, 01 
plunge in water." 

Stevens says : " To merge, or immerse, 
to submerge, or bury in water." 

Donnegan says : " To immerse repeat- 
edly into liquid, to submerge, to soak thor- 


Robinson says : " To immerse, to sink." 

Liddell and Scott say : " To dip re- 

Grimm's Lexicon of the New Testament, 
which in Europe and America stands con- 
fessedly at the head of Greek lexicography, 
as translated and edited by Professor Thayer, 
of Harvard University, thus defines baptizo : 
" (1) To dip repeatedly, to immerse, sub- 
merge. (2) To cleanse by dipping or sub- 
merging. (3) To overwhelm. In the New 
Testament it is used particularly of the rite 
of sacred ablution ; first instituted by John 
the Baptist, afterward by Christ's command 
received by Christians and adjusted to the 
contents and nature of their religion, viz., 
an immersion in water, performed as a sign 
of the removal of sin, and administered to 
those who, impelled by a desire for salva- 
tion, sought admission to the benefits of the 
Messiah's kingdom. With eis to mark the 
element into which the immersion is made ; 
en with the dative of the thing in which 
one is immersed." 

The noun baptisma, the only other word 
used in the New Testament to denote the 
rite, Grimm-Thayer thus define: "A 
word peculiar to the New Testament and 


ecclesiastical writers ; used (1) of John's 
baptism ; (2) of Christian baptism. This, 
according to the view of the Apostles, is a 
rite of sacred immersion commanded by 

Add to those such authorities as Alsti- 
Jius, Passow, Schottgen, Stockius, Stourdza, 
Sophocles, Ajithon, Rosen muller, Wetstein, 
Leigh, Turretin, Beza, Calvin, Witsius, 
Luther, Vossius, Campbell, and many 
others who bear the same witness to the 
proper meaning of the word baptize. If 
at any time the word may have a secondary 
meaning, it is strictly in accord with its 
primary meaning — to dip, or immerse. For 
both classic and sacred Greek the same 
meaning holds. 

Prof. Moses Stuart, one of the ablest 
scholars America has produced, declared: 
" Baptizo means to dip, plunge, or immerse 
into any liquid. All lexicographers and 
critics of any note are agreed in this." 
Essay on Baptism, p. 51 ; Biblical Reposi- 
tory, 1883, p. 298. 

"All lexicographers and critics, of any 
note, are agreed in this," says one of the 
foremost scholars of the age, and he a Pedo- 
baptist. What a concession ! 


The Greek language is rich in terms for 
the expression of all positive ideas, and all 
varying shades of thought. Why, then, did 
our Lord in commanding, and his Apostle* 
in transmitting his command to posterity 
use always and only that one word bapivzo, 
to describe the action, and that one word 
bapUzma y to describe the ordinance to which 
he intended all his followers to submit? 
The word louo means to wash the body, and 
uipto to wash parts of the body ; but these 
words are not used, because washing is not 
what Christ meant. Rantizo means to 
sprinkle, and if sprinkling were baptism this 
would have been the word above all others; 
but it was never so used. Keo means to 
pour ; but pouring is not baptism, and so 
this word was never used to describe the 
ordinance. Katharizo means to purify, but 
is not used for the ordinance. The facts 
are clear and the reasoning conclusive. 

STOUEDZA,the Russian scholar and diplo- 
mat, says : " The church of the West has 
then departed from the example of Jesus 
Christ ; she has obliterated the whole sub- 
limity of the exterior sign. Baptism and 
immersion are identical. Baptism by asper- 
non is as if one should say immersion by 


aspersion, or any other absurdity of the 
same nature." Considerations, Orthodox 
Ch., p. 87. 


The baptism of Jesus in the Jordan is 
thus described : " And Jesus, when he was 
baptized, went up straightway out of the 
water." (Matt. 3 : 16.) And again, it is 
recorded that Jesus " was baptized of John 
in Jordan ; and straightway coming up out 
of the water." (Mark 1 : 10.) He certainly 
would not go down into Jordan to have 
water sprinkled on him. Nobody believes 
he would. He was baptized in Jordan, not 
•with Jordan. Moreover, he was baptized, 
that is, immersed, not rantized, that is, 

Bishop Taylor says : " The custom of 
the ancient churches was not sprinkling, but 
immersion, in pursuance of the meaning of 
the word in the commandments and the 
example of our blessed Saviour." Commen- 
tary on Matthew 3 : 16. 

MacKnight says : " Christ submitted to 
be baptized, that is, to be buried under 
water, and to be raised out of it again, a» 


an emblem of his future death and resur- 
rection." Com. Epis., Rom. 6 : 4,. 

And with these agree Campbell, Light- 
foot, Whitby, Poole, Olshausen, Meyer, 
Alford, and many other commentators and 
scholars. All those whom John baptized 
he buried beneath the waters, and raised 
them up again. 


It is recorded that " John also was bap- 
tizing in Enon, near to Salim, because there 
was much water there." (John 3 : 23.) 
Why need much water, except for dipping, 
or burying the candidates in the act of bao- 
tisni ? 

John Calvin, the great theologian, 
scholar, and commentator, whom Scaliger 
pronounced the most learned man in Europe, 
says : " From the words of John (chap. 3 : 
23) it may be inferred that baptism was 
administered by John and Christ, by plung- 
ing the whole bodv under water." Com. on 
John 3 : 28. 

Poole says : " It is apparent that both 
Christ and John baptized by dipping the 
whole body in the water, else they need 
Dot have sought places where had been 


a great plenty of water." Armot. sohn 
3 : S3. 

Whitby says : " Because there was much 
water there in which their whole bodies 
might be dipped." Grit. Com. John S : 

With these agree Bengel, Curcaslleus, 
Adam Clarke, Geikie, Stanley, and others. 


" And they went down both into the water, 
both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized 
him. And when they were come up out of the 
water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away 
Philip." (Acts 8 : 38.) Why go down 
into the water, both, or either of them, if 
not for an immersion ? 

Venema, the ecclesiastical historian, says : 
" It is without controversy, that baptism in 
the primitive church was administered by 
immersion into water, and not by sprink- 
ling ; seeing that John is said to have bap- 
tized in Jordan, and where there was much 
water, as Christ also did by his disciples in 
the neighborhood of those places. Philip 
also going down into the water baptized the 
eunuch." Eccl. Hid., chap. I., eec. 138. 

To this may be added Calvin, Grotius, 


Towerson, Poole, and others to the sam« 


Great men are not always wise. Our 
search should be for the truth wherever 
found ; and though our final appeal in these 
matters is to the New Testament, still we 
are glad to use the testimony of distin- 
guished scholars where it affirms the teach- 
ings of the Scriptures and confirms our posi- 
tion on the baptismal question. Especially 
so, as these scholars are not of our own, but 
of other denominations. 

Zanchius, the learned Roman Catholic 
Professor of Heidelberg, whose opinion 
De Courcy declared, " is worth a thousand 
others," said : " The proper signification of 
baptize is to immerse, plunge under, over- 
whelm in water." Works, Vol. VI., p. 217. 
Geneva, 1619, 

Luther, the great German Reformer, 
Bays : " The term baptism is Greek ; in Latin 
it may be translated mersio ; since we immerse 
anything into water, that the whole may be 
covered with the water." Works, Vol. J u 
p. 71. WU. ed., 1582. 

Melancthon, the most scholarly and able 


co-la borer with Luther, says : " Baptism is 
immersion into water, with this admirable 
benediction." Melanc. Cateo. Wit., 1680. 

Cave, in his able work on Christian 
A-iitiquities, says: "The party to be bap- 
tized was wholly immersed, or put under 
vvater," Prim. Christ, P. I. Chap. X. p. 

Beza, the learned translator of the New 
Testament, says : " Christ commanded us to 
be baptized, by which word it is certain im- 
mersion is signified." Annot. on Mark 7 : 4- 

Mede, the distinguished English scholar 
and divine, says : " There was no such thing 
as sprinkling used in the Apostles' days, nor 
for many ages after them." Dis. on Titus 

Grotius, whom his biographer calls one 
of the most illustrious names in literature, 
politics, and theology, says : " That baptism 
used to be performed by immersion, and not 
by pouring, appears by the proper significa- 
tion of the word, and by the places chosen 
for the administration of the rite." Annot. 
on Matt. 3 : 6 ; John 3 : 23. 

Adam Clark, the great Methodist com- 
mentator, says : " Alluding to the immer- 
tions practiced in the case of adults, wherein 


the person appeared to be buried under the 
water as Christ was buried in the heart of 
the earth." Com. on Col. 2 : 12. 

Frederick Meyer, one of the ablest 
and most accurate exegetes of the present 
age, says : " Immersion, which the word in 
classic Greek aud in the New Testament 
ever means." Com. on Mark 7 : J/,. 

Dean Alford says : " The baptism was 
administered by the immersion of the whole 
person." Greek Testament, Matt. 3 : 6. 

Bishop Bossuet, the celebrated French 
Catholic bishop, orator and counselor of 
state, says : " To baptize, signifies to plunge, 
as is granted by all the world." See Sten- 
nett ad Russen, p. 17 J/,. 

Dr. Schaff, the well-known church his- 
torian, says : " Immersion, and not sprink- 
ling, was unquestionably the original form. 
This is shown by the very meaning of the 
words baptizo, baptis-ma, and baptismos used 
to designate the rite." Hist. Apos. Ch., p. 
iS8. Merc, ed., 1851. Also see Noel on 
Bap, Ch. 3, sec. 8. 

Dean Stanley, the distinguished schol- 
ar, and historian of the Oriental Church, says : 
" The practice of the Eastern Church, and 
the meaning of the word, leave no sufficient 


ground for question that the original form 
of baptism was complete immersion in the 
deep baptismal waters." Hist. Eastern 
Church, p. 3£. 

Prof. Fisher, of Yale College, the 
accomplished scholar and historian, says of 
the apostolic age : " The ordinary mode of 
baptism was by immersion." Hist. Christ. 
Church, p. Jfl. 

Prof. Riddle says : " There is no doubt 
that the usual mode of administering bap- 
tism in the early church, was by immersion, 
or plunging the whole body of the person 
baptized under water." Christ. Antio., p. 

Add to the above the testimony of Bishops 
Taylor and Sherlock, Witsius, Poole, Vit- 
ringa, Diodati, Calvin, Samuel Ciark, 
Bloomfield, Scholz, Neander, and many 
others to the same effect, none of whom 
were Baptists. 


What idea could the apostle have had as 
to the nature of baptism, when in two of 
his epistles he alludes to it as a burial 
except that it was a dipping or burial b 


water ? To the Romans he says : " There- 
fore we are buried with him, by baptism, 
into death." (Rom. 6 : 4.) To the Colos- 
eians, in nearlv the same language, "Buried 
with him in baptism." (Col. 2 : 12.) No 
one can misunderstand the meaning of these 
words. Neither sprinkling, pouring, wash- 
ing, cleansing — nothing but a complete sub- 
mersion — can represent a burial. And no 
candid mind could misunderstand such lan- 
guage, unless blinded or biased by preju- 
dice, education, or sophistical reasoning from 

Archbishop Tillotson makes this com- 
ment : " Anciently those who were baptized 
were immersed and buried in the w r ater, to 
represent their death to sin ; and then did 
rise up out of the water, to signify their 
entrance upon a new life. And to this cus- 
tom the Apostle alludes." Works, Vol. I, 
p. 179. 

John Wesley, the celebrated founder of 
Methodism, says : " Buried with him, allud- 
ing to the ancient manner of baptizing by 
immersion." Note on Rom. 6 : 4- 

Conybeabe says : "This passage cannot 
be understood unless it be borne in mind 
that the primitive baptism was by immer~ 


lion" Life and Epist. St. Paul, Rom. 


Bloomfield says : " Here is a plain allu- 
sion to the ancient custom of baptizing by 
immersion; and I agree with Koppe and 
Rosenmuller, that there is reason to regret 
it should ever have been abandoned in most 
Christian churches; especially as it has so 
evident a reference to the mystical sense of 
baptism." Recens. Synop., Rom. 6 : 4>- 

Whitefield says : " It is certain that 
in the words of our text (Rom. 6 : 4) there 
is an allusion to the manner of baptizing, 
which was by immersion" Eighteen Ser- 
mons, p. 297. 

Meyee says : " The candidate says to him- 
self, now I enter into fellowship with the 
death of Christ; I am to be buried with 
Christ in the immersion, and in the emersion 
I rise with Christ to newness of life." Com. 
on Rom. 6 : 4,. 

Add to these the names of Bishop FelL, 
Dr. Doddridge, Adam Clark, Estius, Mai- 
donatus, Fritsche, Benson, Diodati, Tur- 
retin, Zwingli, Whitby, Samuel Clarke, with 
others equally good in authority, and what 
no one ought to question seems to be put 
beyond doubt. 



Learned and devout men have studied 
with care the early records of Christianity, 
and have written histories of the doctrines 
and customs of the churches, during the 
ages immediately succeeding the Apostles. 
What do they tell us as to the use of bap- 
tism during the first centuries after Christ? 

Barnabas, the companion of St. Paul, 
Hermas, writing about a. d. 95; Justin 
Martyr, about A. D. 140 ; Tertullian, about 
A. D. 204 j Hippolytus, about A. D. 225 ; 
Gregory, about a. d. 360 ; Basil, about a. d. 
360; Ambrose, about a. d. 374; Cyril* 
about A. D. 374 ; Chrysostom, about A. D. 
400 ; all speak of being dipped, or buried } 
or immersed, or plwiged in the water in 
baptism ; and none of them make the least 
allusion to any application of water to the 
person for baptism, by sprinkling, pouring, 
washing, or any other mode whatever. 

Dr. Wall, whose learned and laborious 
researches in connection with his exhaustive 
work on the History of Infant Baptism 
left little for others to discover in this field 
of scholarship, says : " The Greek Church in 
all its branches does still use immersion, and 


so do all other Christians in the vorld, 
except the Latins. All those nations that 
do now, or formerly did submit to the Bishop 
of Rome, do ordinarily baptize their chil- 
dren by pouring or sprinkling. But all 
other Christians in the world, who never 
owned the Pope's usurped power, do and 
ever did dip their infants in the ordinary 
use. All the Christians in Asia, all in Africa, 
and about one-third in Europe are of the 
last sort." Hist Inf. Bap., Vol. II, p. 
876, 3d ed. 

Bingham, in his Origines, the ablest 
work we have in English on Christian An- 
tiquities, says : " The ancients thought that 
immersion, or burying wnder water, did more 
lively represent the death, burial, and resur- 
rection of Christ, as well as our own death 
to sin and rising again unto righteousness." 
Christ. Antiq., B. XL, Ch. XL 

Mosheim says : " In this century {the 
1st) baptism was administered in convenient 
places, without the public assemblies, and 
bv immersing the candidate wholly in water." 
Eccl. Hist. Cent. L, Part IL, Ch. 4. 

Neander says : " In respect to the form 
of Baptism, it was in conformity to the origi- 
nal institution, and the original import of 


the symbol, performed by immersion, as a 
sign of entire baptism into the Holy Spirit, 
of being entirely penetrated with the same." 
Ch. Bid., Vol. I., p. 810. Also, Plant, and 
Train., Vol. L, p. 222. 

Schaff says : " Finally, so far as it re- 
spects the mode and manner of outward 
baptizing, there can be no doubt that immer- 
sion, and not sprinkling, was the original 
normal form." Hist. Christ. Ch., p. 488. 

Pressestse says : " Baptism, which was the 
sign of admission into the church, was ad- 
ministered by immersion. The convert was 
plunged beneath the water, and as he rose 
from it he received the laying on of hands." 
Early Years of Christianity, p. 874- 

Kurtz says : " Baptism took place by a 
x>mplete immersion.^ Church History, p. 


Kraus says: "Baptism was performed 
by immersion in the name of the Trinity." 
Church History, p. 56. 1882. 

Ellicott says : " Jewish ablutions arrived 
at a ceremonial purity in the Levitical sense, 
and had nothing in common with the figur- 
ative act which portrayed through immersion 
the complete disappearance of the old nature, 
and by the emerging again the beginning of 


a totally new life." Life of Christ* «. 


It is proven that, not only was immer- 
sion practiced for baptism by Christ and 
his Apostles, but that for many ages after 
nothing else was known as baptism ; and 
that for thirteen hwndred years it was the 
common and prevailing form over the 
whole Christian world, with only exceptional 
departures, hereafter to be noticed. And 
that though the Latin or Roman Church 
did finally adopt sprinkling, claiming the 
right to change ordinances, the Greek and 
all the Oriental churches retained dipping, 
as they do to this day. 

Dr. Stackhouse says : " Several authors 
have shown and proved that this manner of 
immersion continued, as much as possible to 
be used for thirteen hwndred years after 
Christ?" Hist Bible, B. 8, Ch. 1. 

Bishop Bossuet says : " We are able to 
make it appear, by the acts of councils and 
by ancient rituals, that for thirteen hundred 
years baptism was thus administered [by 
immersion] throughout the whole church, 


as far as possible." OUed f Stennd ad 
Bussen p. 176. 

Hagenbach says : " From the thirteenth 
oentury sprinkling came into more general 
use in the West. The Greek Church, how- 
ever, and the church of Milan still retained 
the practice of immersion" Hist. Dod. 
Vol. IL y p. 8h note 1. 

Van Oostekzee, says : " This sjtrinUmg y 
which appears to have first come generally 
into use in the thirteenth century in place of 
the entire immersion of the body, in imita- 
tion of the previous baptism of the sick, 
has certainly this imperfection, that the sym- 
bolical character of the act is expressed by 
it much less conspicuously than by complete 
immersion and burial under the water." 
Christ Dogmat., Vol. IL, p. 7jB. 

Coleman says : " The practice of immer- 
sion continued even until the thirteenth or 
fourteenth century. Indeed, it has never 
been formally abandoned." Anc. Christ, 
JExemp Gi. 19, Sec. W. 

To the same effect is the testimony of 
Drs. Brenner, Yon Colin, Winer, Augusti, 
Bingham, and others. 



It is a notable fact, and worthy of record 
in this discussion, that the Greek Church 
has always retained immersion in baptism 
This church extends over Greece, Russia, 
Arabia, Palestine, Abyssinia, Siberia, and 
other Oriental countries. Like the Latin 
Church, it has corrupted the primitive purity 
of gospel doctrine and practice with many 
absurd glosses and superstitious rites. It 
practices infant baptism, yet it is by dip- 
ping, even in the severe climate of Siberia ; 
and it uses trine immersion, or dipping the 
candidate three times, once to each of the 
names iu the sacred Trinity. But in all its 
branches immersion is retained. 

The Edinburg Encyclopedia says : 
" The Greek Church, as well as the Schis- 
matics in the East, retained the custom of 
immersing the whole body ; but the Western 
Church adopted, in the thirteenth century, 
the mode of sprinkling, which has been 
continued by the Protestants, Baptists only 
excepted." Ency. Edin., Art. Baptism. 

These statements are fully confirmed by 
Stourdza, Ricaut, Deylingiua, Buddeus, 
Wall, King, Broughton, Stanley, Coleman, 


wnd others, who have written on the state 
and history of the Greek Church. 


Whi.t was baptism intended to represent? 
As a religious rite it meant something, had 
some symbolic force, and represented some 
moral or spiritual fact or truth. Its mean- 
ing was clearly this : to show forth the 
death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, 
who died for our sins, and rose again for 
our justification. And every believer who 
receives this ordinance, professes thereby to 
have faith in the merits of Christ's death, 
as the ground of his own hope of salvation ; 
to have fellowship also with his sufferings, 
and makes a declaration of his own death 
to sin, and rising to a new life in Christ 
It also typifies the washing of regeneration ; 
it further declares the candidate's hope of a 
resurrection from the dead, even as Christ, 
into the likeness of whose death he is 
buried, was raised up by the glory of the 
Father. Chiefly death, burial, and resur- 
rection ; the great facts of redemptive grace 
are by it set forth. Immersion in baptism 
does teach all this, and immersion alone can 
teach it Careful students of the New 


Testament have clearly seen this, and very 
generally confessed it, whatever may have 
been their practice. 

Bishop Newton says : " Baptism was 
usually performed by immersion, or dipping 
the whole body under water, to represent 
the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, 
and thereby signify the person's own dying 
to sin, the destruction of its power, and his 
resurrection to a new life." Pract. Expos. 
Cate., p. 297. 

Bloomfield, Barnes, Schaff, Poole, 
Hammond, Barrows, Baxter, MacKnight, 
Olshausen, Grotius, Saurin, Buddeus, Pic- 
tetus, Fran ki us, Wall, Towerson, Adam 
Clark, Tyndale, and others, bear similar tes- 
timony as to the design of the ordinance, 
and how it is answered in immersion only- 


There have been found persons so igno- 
rant, or so weak, or so perverse in their 
opposition to immersion, as to assert that 
the Jordan was a small stream, so nearly 
dry in the summer, that it had not sufficient 
depth of water for the immersion of the 
multitudes of the disciples of John and of 
Jesus said to have been baptised in it ; and 


dso that Jerusalem had no sufficient accom- 
modation for the immersion of the thou- 
sands of converts at the Pentecost, and on 
subsequent occasions. People are becoming 
more intelligent, and more candid, and it is 
possible that such puerile objections are no 
more heard. But it may be well to give 
passing notice to the facts. 

Dr. Edward Robinson, at that time 
professor in the Union Theological Semi- 
nary, New York City, in 1840, made a 
careful survey of Palestine, including the 
Jordan valley and river. His published 
statements corroborate those of others pre- 
viously made, as to the abundant supply of 
water, both in the Jordan, and in the city 
of Jerusalem. He cites the published 
statements of earlier explorers, whose works 
are known to the reading public. Seetzen, 
who visited that country in 1806 ; Burk- 
hardt, who explored it in 1812; Irby and 
Mangles, in 1818 ; and Buckingham, who 
traveled through it about the same time. 
See Robimcm's Bib. Research, Vol. II. See. 
10, pp 257-867. 

Lieutenant Lynch, of the United 
States Navy, was, in 1848, sent out by our 
government in charge of an expedition te 


explore the river Jordan and the Dead 
Sea. Dr. Thomson, for a quarter of a cen- 
tury missionary in Syria and Palestine, 
traversed the land in 1857, and Dean 
Stanley in 1853, and others more recently. 
For a complete refutation of such puerile 
objections as those above mentioned, and a 
confirmation of Baptist claims, 6ee the fol- 
lowing works : Robinson's Biblical Re- 
searches, Vol. II. Sec. 10, pp. 257-267. 
Lynch's Dead Sea Expedition, Ch. 10 and 
11. Thomson's The Land and the Book, 
Vol. II. pp. 445-6. Stanley's Svria and 
Palestine, Ch. 7, pp. 306-7. Barclay's 
The City of the Great Kings, Ch. 10. An^ 
other citations in " Baptist Church Direct 


The question will naturally arise, and 
very properly, when did sprinkling for 
baptism first come into use? And ho\t 
came it to pass, that a human device super- 
seded and took the place of a divine insti- 
tution? These questions are fully and 
satisfactorily answered, by Pedobaptisf 
scholars themselves, whose testimony w€ 
aooept as a justification of Baptist views. 


For two hundred and fifty years after 
Christ we have no evidence of any depart- 
ure from the primitive practice of immer- 
sion. At length the idea came to prevail 
that baptism possessed saviug virtue, and 
had power to purify and sanctify the soul, 
making its salvation more secure. It was 
consequently thought unsafe to die unbap- 
tized. Here was the germ of the peroicious 
dogma of " baptismal regeneration," the 
foundation alike of infant baptism, and of 
sprinkling instead of immersion. 

The first authenticated instance of sprink- 
ling occurred about the middle of the third 
century, or A. D. 250. This was the case 
of Novatian. The historian Eusebius gives 
this case, and Dr. Wall in his laborious 
researches could find no earlier instance ; 
good evidence that no earlier existed. 
Novatian was dangerously sick, and believ- 
ing himself about to die, was anxious to be 
baptized. The case seemed urgent, and as 
he was thought to be too feeble to be 
immersed, a substitute was resorted to, 
water was poured profusely over him as he 
lay in bed, so as to resemble as much as 
possible a submersion. The word used to 
describe this action (perichutheis, perfustu) 


has usually been rendered besprinkle; it 
rather means to pour profusely over and 
about one. This it was thought might 
answer the purpose in such an emergency. 
From this time onward pouring and 
sprinkling were resorted to at times of 
extreme illness, or feebleness, where persons 
could not leave their beds, and hence was 
termed clinic baptism, from clina, a couch. 
But it was always regarded as a substitute 
for baptism, rather than baptism itself; and 
its validity was doubted. Novatian himself 
having recovered from his sickness, was 
objected to when his friends proposed to 
make him bishop, because, it was said, he 
had never been properly baptized. It was 
not, however, until the seventeenth centur' 
that sprinkling became common in Europe 
in France first, and then extending through 
those countries over which the pope held 
sway. At length, accepted by Calvin and 
the Genevan Church, it extended into Scot- 
land, by John Knox, and other Scotch 
refugees, who had found in Geneva a shel- 
ter from the persecution to which they had 
been exposed in their native country ; then 
into England ; and in 1643 it was adopted 
i* the exclusive mode of baptism by a 


majority of one in the Westminster Assem- 
bly of Divines, and sanctioned by Parlia- 
ment the next year. All of which is veri- 
fied by Eusebius, Valesius, Wall, Salma- 
sius, Venema, Taylor, Towerson, Grotius. 
" Ency. Brit." ; " Edin. Eney," and other 
reliable historical authorities. * 

1 For more numerous citations on this subject, see the u Star 
Book on Christian Baptism/' and " The Baptist Church Dtreo- 




The Lord's Supper, called also tne 
" Eucharist," and the " Communion," \s 
the most sacred act of Christian worship, 
and the highest expression of the mysteries 
of our holy religion. It is a service in 
which bread and wine — the loaf and the cup 
— are used to represent the body and the 
blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, slain foi 
us. The bread is broken, distributed, and 
eaten ; the wine is poured, distributed, and 
drunk by the members of the assembled 
church, to show the sacrifice of Christ, his 
body broken, and his blood shed for their 
redemption ; and that by his death they 
have life. Being begotten of God through 
the operation of the Spirit, their new life is 
sustained and nourished by mystically feed- 
ing on him who is the Bread of God, which 
came down from heaven to give life to the 
world. He said : " This do in remembrance 


of me." " As oft as ye eat this bread 
and drink the cup ye proclaim the Lord's 
death, till he come." " Except ye eat the 
flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, 
re have no life in you." " Whoso eateth 
my * flesh and drinketh my blood, hath 
eternal life." " He that eateth my flesh, 
and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, 
and I in him." It is a divine reality, 
though a sublime mystery. 


The controversy between Baptists and 
other denominations, so far as the Lord's 
Supper is concerned, has no reference to its 
nature, the purpose for which it was insti- 
tuted, the manner of its administration, or 
the effect of the elements on the participants. 
It has reference simply to the proper sub- 
jects for participation in the privilege. 
Who may, and who may not properly and 
of right come to the Lord's Table ? On 
the question of what are the Scriptural 
qualifications of participants, Baptists and 
Pedobaptists differ — differ not as to the 
general rule to be applied, but as to its par- 
ticular application. And this particular 
application leads to the controversy on 



what is called " close communion," as prac- 
ticed by Baptists, and to what is called 
" open communion" as practiced by Pedo- 

Wliat is open communion f Open, tree 
or mixed communion is, strictly speaking, 
iiat which allows any one who desires, and 
relieves himself qualified, to come to the 
Lord's Table, without any questions being 
asked, or conditions imposed by the church 
in which the ordinance is observed. But 
ordinarily the term is applied to the prac- 
tice of the greater part of the Pedobaptist 
churches, which hold that sprinkling is law- 
ful baptism, and invite, not all persons, but 
members of all evangelical churches, what- 
ever be their view of church order and 
ordinances ; holding them all as being bap- 
tized because they have been sprinkled. 

What is close communion f Close, 
strict, or restricted communion is, properly 
speaking, that which does not invite all 
indiscriminately to the Lord's Table, but 
restricts the privilege to a particular class. 
But ordinarily the term is applied to the 
practice of Baptist churches, which invite 
only baptized believers, walking in orderly 
fellowship in their own churches. And by 


baptized believers, they mean, of course, 
immersed believers ; not admitting sprink- 
ling to be baptism at all. 


Observe further : That Baptists and Pedo- 
baptists have one and the same rule in 
theory as to the proper qualification for 
participants, namely, they all hold that 
baptism is a prerequisite. That unbaptized 
persons have no legal right to the Lord's 
Supper, and cannot consistently be invited 
to it. Pedobaptists would not invite unbap- 
tized persons to the Lord's Table, however 
good Christians, since such could not 
become church members, and the Supper is 
for those within the church, not for the 
outside world. For though a few churches 
and a few pastors, who in their extreme 
liberality might be disposed to invite every- 
body to the sacred ordinance, yet such a 
course would be contrary to their denomi- 
national standards, and opposed to the 
usages of tb^ir churches generally. 

Further observe: They all practice a 
restriction, nince they restrict the privilege 
to a part r <;ular class ; namely, baptized 
believers, Talking in orderly church fellow- 


ship. But Baptists and Pedobaptists differ 
as to what constitutes baptism, the one 
rejecting, and the other accepting the valid- 
ity of sprinkling. Thus Baptists' custom 
is nWe " close" and Pedobaptists' is more 
" open" by the difference between their 
views of baptism ; and by that difference 
only. Therefore, it is manifest that the 
question so called of " close " and " open '' 
communion is really not a question of 
" communion " at all, but of what consti- 
tutes Scriptural baptism. Let that be 
settled, and the controversy as to the restric- 
tion of the Lord's Supper will cease. 


Baptists hold that there are three impera- 
tive conditions precedent to the privileges 
of the Lord's Supper. 1. Regeneration. 
No unconverted person can with pro- 
priety, or of right, eat and drink at that 
sacred feast, in commemoration of Christ's 
death. They must be persons dead to sin, 
and alive to God ; born again, through the 
operation of the Spirit. 2. Baptism. Bur- 
ied with Christ in baptism on a profession 
oi faith in him. No person, however good, 
and however manifestly regenerate, is pre- 


oared without baptism, according to the 
divine order, to receive the Supper. With- 
out baptism he cannot enter the fellowship 
of the church, where the Supper alone is 
to be enjoyed. 3. An orderly walk is neces- 
sary. An upright and consistent Christian 
walk, and godly conversation among the 
saints, and before the world. For though 
one may be truly regenerate, and properly 
baptized, yet if he be a disorderly walker, 
violating his covenant obligations, living in 
sin, and bringing reproach on the Christian 
profession, he has no right to sit at the 
Lord's Table. 

The ordinances are a sacred trust which 
Christ has committed to the churches as 
custodians, and which they are to watch 
and guard from all profane intrusion, and 
improper use, with the most sedulous 
fidelity. Baptists believe that in order to 
maintain the purity and spirituality of the 
churches, it is necessary to maintain the 
ordinances pure ; and especially necessary 
to restrict the Supper to regenerate and 
godly persons, baptized on a profession of 
their faith, into the fellowship of the saints. 
To adopt any other rule, or to allow any 
larger liberty, would break down the dis- 


tinction between the church and the world ; 
would bring in a carnal and unconverted 
membership, and transfer the sacred mys- 
teries of the body and the blood of Christ 
from the temple of God to the temple of 
Belial. This would be disloyalty to Christ. 

The apostolic plan was as follows : Those 
who believed, and gladly received the ivard, 
were baptized. Then they were added to 
the chwrch. Then they continued steadfast 
in the apostles' doctrine, and fellowship, and 
in breaking of bread, and in prayer. 

Notice, they were not baptized till they 
had received the word and believed. They 
were not added to the church till they had 
believed and been baptized. They did not 
engage in the breaking of bread (that is, 
the Supper), till they had believed, been 
baptized, and were added to the church. 
This is the divine order ; and this is the 
order which Baptists maintain and defend. 


It has already been shown that Pedobap- 
tiste themselves practice a restricted or close 
communion, limiting the privilege to bap- 
tized (as they call them) members of evan- 
gelical churches, and that their communion 


is more liberal than that of the Baptists only, 
and only by so much as their baptism (so- 
called) is more liberal than that of Baptists. 
But in some respects Pedobaptists practice 
a " close communion," restrictive in its con- 
ditions, far beyond anything known to Bap- 
tists whose illiberality they are accustomed 
to magnify. They exclude a large class of 
their own members from the Lord's Table — 
namely, baptized children! Baptists do not 
deny the Lord's Supper to their own members 
in good standing. If children are suitable 
subjects for baptism, it seems most unreason- 
able and unjust to deny them the Supper. 
If they can be benefited by one ordinance, 
can they not be equally benefited by the 
other ? If they can receive the one on the faith 
of sponsors, can they not receive the other in 
the same way ? Who has authorized parents 
or ministers to give baptism to unconverted 
and unconscious children, and refuse them 
the Lord's Supper? By denying the Sup- 
per to baptized children, Pedobaptists art 
contrary to the traditions of the ancient 
churches, which they are accustomed to cite 
with so much assurance, in defense of infant 
baptism. Do they not know that those 
ancient churches (not the primitive churches) 


gave the Lord's Supper to infants for many 
centuries? And the Greek Church, through 
all its branches, continues still the same 

Dr. Coleman says : "After the general 
introduction of infant baptism, in the second 
and third centuries, the sacrament continued 
to be administered to all who had been bap- 
tized, whether infants or adults. The reason 
alleged by Cyprian and others for this 
practice was, that age was no impediment. 
Augustine strongly advocates the practice. 
The custom continued for several centuries. 
It is mentioned in the third Council of 
Tours, a. D. 813; and even the Council 
of Trent, A. D. 1545, only decreed that it 
should not be considered essential to salva- 
tion. It is still scrupulously observed by 
the Greek Church." Anc. Christ. JExemp. f 
Ch. 28, Sec. 8; Bing. Orig., B. 16, Ch. 4, 
Sec. 7. Many other writers bear the same 


There is a small class of Baptists who are 
at times inclined to desire, and it may be, to 
seek a wider liberty at the Lord's Table 


than they find accorded in their own churches. 
The one prevailing argument with them is 
tympathy. To them it seems kindly and 
fraternal to invite all who say they love our 
common Lord and Saviour to unite in com- 
memorating his death in the Supper. Even 
if they have not been baptized, they them- 
selves believe they have, and they are good 
Christian people. "Why stand upon a 
technicality ? " they say. To such the ser- 
vice is merely a sentimental service ; a 
kind of love feast to show Christian fel- 
lowship, rather than an instituted com- 
memoration of their dying Lord. They 
have neither Scripture, logic, expediency, 
the scholarship, nor the concurrent practice 
of Christendom, either past or present, to 
sustain their position. But sympathy influ- 
ences them ; yet sympathy should not con- 
trol conduct in matters of faith, or in acta 
of conscience. It is a grave perversion 
when affection for his disciples sways us 
more than fidelity to our Lord. We should 
not be so kind to them as to be untrue to 
him. Sincere Christians will honor those 
who are loyal to Christ, even though they 
differ in opinion. 



Baptists give the following reasons in justi- 
fication of their course in the following cases : 

1. They do not invite Pedobaptists to the 
Lord's Supper with them, because such per- 
sons are not baptized, as has been shown, 
they being simply sprinkled. They may 
be true converts, and have the spiritual 
qualifications, but they are destitute of the 
ceremonial qualification — baptism. The 
"buried in baptism" comes before the 
" breaking of bread." 

2. They do not accept the invitation of 
Pedobaptist churches to eat at the Lord's 
Table with them, for the same reason ; they 
are not baptized Christians. And while 
they appreciate their Christian fellowship, 
they could not accept their church fellow- 
ship, and sit at the Lord's Table with them, 
without accepting their sprinkling and in- 
dorsing their baptismal errors. 

3. They do not invite immersed members 
of Pedobaptist churches to the Lord's Supper 
with them, because such persons, though they 
may be truly regenerate and properly bap- 
tized, are walking disorderly by remaining 
b\ and giving countenance to churches which 


hold and practice serious errors as to both 
the ordinances. These churches use sprink- 
ling for baptism and administer the ordi- 
nance to infants, both of which are unscript- 
urai. And yet such persons, by remaining 
in them, encourage and support these errors, 
instead of protesting against them by leaving 
them. They insist on immersion for them- 
selves, and yet by a strange inconsistency 
give their fellowship and influence to per- 
petuate and sanction sprinkling for others. 
This is inconsistent and disorderly Christian 
walking ; and, therefore, very properly, 
Baptists decline to invite them to the Lord's 


In further proof that the position of 
Baptists as to the Lord's Supper is correct 
and Scriptural ; that the difficulty lies with 
baptism, and not with the Supper ; and that 
they must still continue to restrict the ordi- 
nance to baptized believers, or else admit 
that sprinkling is baptism, we cite the 
concessions of distinguished Pedobaptist 
scholars and divines in evidence on our side. 

Justin Maktyk, one of the early Christian 
Fathers, says of the Supper: "This food is 


called by us the Eucharist, of which it 
is not lawful for auy one to partake but 
such as believe the things taught by us 
to be true, and have been baptized. " Apol. 

1. C. 65, 66. See Schafs Church Hist Ch. 

2, p. 516. 

Mosheim, in his Church History, says : 
" Neither those doing penance, nor those not 
yet baptized, were allowed to be present at 
the celebration of this ordinance." Eccl. 
Hist., Cent 3, Part 2, Ch. 4, Set. 3. 

Neander, the great Church historian, 
says : " At this celebration, as may be easily 
concluded, no one could be present who 
was not a member of the Christian Church, 
and incorporated into it bv the rite of bap- 
tism." Ch. Hkt, Vol. L, 327. Boston, 

Cave, one of the ablest writers on Chris- 
tian Antiquities, says the participants in the 
primitive church were those " that had 
embraced the doctrine of the gospel, and 
had been baptized into the faith of Christ. 
For, looking upon the Lord's Supper ad 
the highest and most solemn act of religion, 
they thought they could never take care 
enough in the dispensing of it." Prim. 
Christ, Part I.. Ch. 11, p. 333. 


Bingham, in his able work on the An- 
tiquities of the Christian Church, says of the 
early Christians : " As soon as a man was 
baptized he was communicated " — that is, 
admitted to the communion. Baptism, 
therefore, essentially preceded the Supper. 
—Christ Aniiq. B. 19 y Ch. 4, Sec. 9, B. 16. 

Dr. Wall, who searched the records of 
antiquity for facts illustrating the history of 
the ordinances, says : " No church ever gave 
the communion to any persons before they 
were baptized. Among all the absurdities 
that were ever held, none ever maintained 
that any person should partake of the com- 
munion before he was baptized." Hist. 
Inf. Bap , Part 1L, Ch. 9. 

Dr. Coleman says of the early churches : 
' None indeed but believers in full commu- 
nion with the church were permitted to 
be present." " But agreeably to all the 
Jaws and customs of the church, baptism 
jonstituted membership with the church. 
•All baptized persons were legitimately num- 
bered among the communicants as members 
of the church." Anc. Christ. Exemp., Ch. 
21 Sec. 8. 

Dr. Sch aff says : " The communion was 


a regular part, and, in fact, the most import- 
ant and solemn part of the Sunday worship, 
.... in which none but full members of 
the church could engage." Ch. ffisL, Vol. 
L, p. 392. New York, 1871. 

Dr. Doddridge says : " It is certain that 
so far as our knowledge of primitive antiquity 
reaches, no unbaptized person received the 
Lord's Supper." Lectures, pp. 511, 512. 

Dr. Dick says : " An uncircumcised man 
was not permitted to eat the Passover ; and 
an unbaptized man should not be permitted 
to partake of the Eucharist." TheoL, Vol. 
II, p. 220. 

Dr. Baxter says : " What man dares 
go in a way which hath neither precept nor 
example to warrant it, from a way that 
hath full current of both ? Yet they that 
will admit members into the visible church 
without baptism do so." Plain Scripture 
Proof, p. 2£ 

Dr. Dwight, President of Yale College, 
and author of " Systematic Theology," says: 
" It is an indispensable qualification for this 
ordinance that the candidate for communion 
be a member of the visible church in full 
standing. By this, I intend that he should 
) « a man of piety ; that he should have 


made a public profession of religion, and 
that he should have been baptized." Syat 
Theol, Ser. 160, B. 8, Ch. 4, Sec. 7. 

Dr. Griffin, one of the fathers of New 
England Congregationalism, says : " I agree 
with the advocates of close communion in 
two points: 1. That baptism is the initia- 
tory ordinance which introduces us into the 
visible church ; of course, where there is no 
baptism, there are no visible churches. 2. 
That we ought not to commune with those 
who are not baptized, and of course not 
church members, even if we regard them as 
Christians." Letter on Baptism, 1829 ', cited 
by Ourtis on Com., p. 125. 

Dr. Hibbard, a leading Methodist scholar 
and divine, says : " In one principle Baptist 
and Pedobaptist churches agree. They 
both agree in rejecting from communion at 
the table of the Lord, and in denying the 
rights of church fellowship to all who have 
not been baptized." And with admirable 
frankness, he adds : " The charge of dose 
communion is no more applicable to the 
Baptists than to us [Pedobaptists] ; inso- 
much as the question of church fellowship 
with them is determined by as liberal prin- 
ciples as it is with any other Protestant 


churches, so far, I mean, as the present sub- 
ject is concerned — i. e., it is determined by 
valid baptism" Hibbard on Christ. Bap., 
P. II, p. 17 % 

Dk. Bullock, another Methodist divine, 
says : " Close communion, as it is generally 
termed, is the only logical and consistent 
course for Baptist churches to pursue. If 
their premises are right, their conclusion is 
surely just as it should be." And he com- 
mends the firmness of Baptists in not invit- 
ing to the communion those whom they 
regard as un baptized. He says : " They do 
not feel willing to countenance such laxity 
in Christian discipline. Let us honor 
them for their steadfastness in maintaining 
what they believe to be a Bible precept, 
rather than criticise and censure because 
they differ with us concerning the intent 
and mode of Christian baptism, and believe 
it to be an irrepealable condition of coming 
to the Lord's table." What Christians 

The Independent, one of the most 
widely circulated, and perhaps the most in- 
fluential Pedobaptist paper in the country t in 
an editorial, says : " Leading writers of all 
denominations declare that converts mast be 


baptized before they can be invited to the 
communion table. This is the position 
generally taken. But Baptists regarding 
sprinkling as a nullity — no baptism at all — 
look upon Presbyterians, Methodists, and 
others, as unbaptized persons." "The 
other churches cannot urge the Baptists to 
become open communionists till they them- 
selves take the position that all who love 
our Lord Jesus Christ, the unbaptized as 
well as the baptized, may be invited to 
the communion table." Editorial, July, 

The Congregationalist, the organ of 
the New England Congregational Churches, 
in an editorial, says : " Congregationalists 
have uniformly, until here and there an ex- 
ception has arisen of late years, required 
baptism and church membership as the pre- 
requisite of a seat at the table of the Lord. 
It is a part of the false ' liberality ' which 
now prevails in certain quarters, to welcome 
everybody ' who thinks he loves Christ ' to 
commune in his body and blood. Such a 
course is the first step in breaking down 
that distinction between the church and the 
world, which our Saviour emphasized ; and 
h seems to us it is an unwise and mistaken 


act for which no Scriptural warrant exists,* 
Editorial, July 9 y 1879. 

The Observer, of New York, the oldest 
and leading Presbyterian journal of this 
country, said : " It is not a want of charity 
which compels the Baptist to restrict his 
invitation. He has no hesitation in admit- 
ting the personal piety of his unimmersed 
brethren. Presbyterians do not invite the 
unbaptized, however pious they may be. It 
is not uncharitable. It is not bigotry on 
the part of Baptists to confine their com- 
munion to those whom they consider the 

The Interior, of Chicago, the organ of 
Western Presbyterians, said : " The differ- 
ence between our Baptist brethren and our- 
selves is an important difference. We agree 
with them, however, in saying that unbap- 
tized persons should not partake of the 
Lord's Supper. Their view compels them 
to think that we are not baptized, and shuts 
them up to close communion. Close com- 
munion is, in our judgment, a more defensi- 
ble position than open communion, which is 
justified on the ground that baptism is not 
a prerequisite to the Lord's Supper. To 
charge Baptists with bigotry becanse they 


•bide by the logical consequences of their 
system is absurd." 
The Christian Advocate, of New York, 

the leading journal of American Methodists, 
said : " The regular Baptist churches in the 
United States may be considered to-day as 
practically a unit on three points — the non- 
use of infant baptism, the immersion of 
believers only upon a profession of faith, 
and the administration of the holy commu- 
nion to such only as have been immersed 
by ministers holding these views. In our 
opinion the Baptist Church owes its amazing 
prosperity largely to its adherence to these 
views. In doctrine and government, and 
in other respects, it is the same as the Con- 
gregationalists. In numbers, the regular 
Baptists are more than six times as great as 
the Congregationalism. It is not bigotry 
to adhere to one's convictions, providing 
the spirit of Christian love prevails/' 

The Episcopal .Recorder said : " The 
close communion of the Baptist churches is 
but the necessary sequence of the funda- 
mental idea out of which their existence 
has grown. No Christian Church would 
willingly receive to its communion even the 
humblest and truest believer in Christ who 


had not been baptized. With Baptists, im- 
mersion only is baptism, and they therefore 
of necessity exclude from the Lord's Table 
all who have not been immersed. It is an 
essential part of the system — the legitimate 
carrying out of the creed." 

Bishop Coxe, of the Episcopal diocese of 
Western New York, says : " The Baptists 
hold that we have never been baptized, and 
they must exclude us from their communion 
table, if we were disposed to go there. Are 
we offended ? Do we call it illiberal ? No ; 
we call it principle, and we respect it. To 
say that we have never become members of 
Christ by baptism seems severe, but it is a 
conscientious adherence to duty, as they re- 
gard it I should be the bigot, and not 
they, if I should ask them to violate their 
discipline in this, or in any other particu- 
lar." On Chris. Unity, in " Church Union," 
July, 189L 




One of the customs held and upheld by 
Pedobaptist churches, which Baptists seri- 
ously condemn, is infant baptism. It is 
practiced by both Roman Catholics and Pro- 
testants as a religious institution; and 
though not held as sacredly, or practiced as 
widely as formerly, it still prevails to a 
wide extent throughout the Christian world. 
And yet it was not instituted by Christ, nor 
practiced by his apostles, nor known in the 
primitive churches, and has neither sanction 
nor recognition in the word of God. It is 
for this reason that Baptists utterly reject 
and condemn the custom, as not simply use- 
less and without authority, but as a most 
pernicious and hurtful usage ; that it is in- 
jurious both to the child that receives it, 
and to the church which allows it, can be 
easily shown. Baptism before faith, and 
without a profession of it, contradicts and 


doea violence to all New Testament teach- 


Now, that infant baptism is not of Script- 
ural authority, and was not known in the 
first Christian ages, nearly all its advocates 
and defenders have with considerable can- 
dor admitted. Only a few of their historians 
and scholars can be cited here. 

Dr. William Wall, a learned divine 
of the English Church, who wrote the His- 
tory of Infant Baptism, a work so able 
that the clergy in convocation assembled 
gave him a vote of thanks for his defense 
of the custom, says : " Among all the per- 
sons that are recorded as baptized by the 
Apostles, there is no express mention of 
any infants/' Hist. Inf. Bap., Intro., pp. 

Thomas Fuller, the historian, says : 
"We do freely confess there is neither ex- 
press precepts nor precedent in the New 
Testament for the Baptism of Infants/' 
Infant* Advoc, pp. 71, 160. 

Luther says : " It cannot be proved by 
the sacred Scriptures that infant baptism was 
instituted by Christ, or begun by th© fir^ 


Christians after the Apostles. Vanity of 
Inf. Bap., Part II., p. 8. 

Neander says : " Baptism was adminis- 
tered at first only to adults, as men were 
accustomed to conceive of baptism and faith 
as strictly connected. We have all reason 
for not deriving infant baptism from apos- 
xolic instltution. ,, Ch. Hist., Vol. /., p. 311 ; 
Plant, and. Train, Vol I., p. %22. 

Prof. Lange says: "All attempts to 
make out infant baptism from the New 
Testament fail. It is totally opposed to the 
spirit of the apostolic age, and to the funda- 
mental principles of the New Testament." 
Inf. Baptism, p. 101. 

Prof. Jaoobi says: "Infant baptism 
was established neither bv Christ, nor by 
the Apostles." AH. Bap. Kvao'a Oycl Bib. 

Dr. BLanna says : " Scripture knows 
nothing of the baptism of infants." North 
Brit. Review. Aug., 18SS. 

Prof. Hagenbach says : " The passages 
from Scripture cited in favor of infant bap- 
tism as a usnage of the primitive church are 
doubtful, and prove nothing." Hist. I**L, 
pp. 190, 193. 

Bishop Burnett, Baxter, Good -in, 


Limborch, Celarius, Field, and many others 
bear similar testimony. 


Since the New Testament knows nothing 
of infant baptism, and since it was neither 
instituted by Christ, nor practiced by his 
Apostles, what was its origin, and when did 
it come into use ? 

Tertullian is the first who mentions 
the custom, and he opposes it. This was at 
the close of the second century, or about a. d. 
200. His opposition to it proves two thi ngs : 
First, that it was in occasional use, at least. 
Second, that it was of recent origin, since 
had it been long used some earlier record of 
it could be found. Neander, Ch. Hist, 
Vol. L, p. 311. 

Bingham could find no earlier allusion 
to it than that of Tertullian, though he be- 
lieved it arose earlier. It must, therefore, 
as is generally agreed, have had its origin 
about the beginning of the third century. 

Curcelljeus says : " The baptism of in- 
fants in the two first centuries after Christ 
was altogether unknown ; but in the third 
and fourth was allowed by some few. In 
the fifth and following ages it was generally 


received." Inst. Christ. Religion, B. I. f 
Ch. 12. 

Sajlmasius says : " In the first two cen- 
turies no one was baptized, except, being 
instructed in the faith and acquainted with 
the doctrines of Christ, he was able to pro- 
fess himself a believer." Hist. Bapt. Suicer. 
Thesawr., Vol IL, p. 1136. 

Such testimony is conclusive, and quite 
sufficient, though much more of a similar 
character might be added. 

Bvi observe : That when the baptism of 
children began, it was not that of uncon- 
scious infants at all, as is now practiced, but, 
as Bunsen declares, of " little growing chil- 
dren, from six to ten years old." And he 
asserts that Tertullian "does not say one 
word of new-born infants." Cyprian, an 
African bishop, at the close of the third cen- 
tury, urged the baptism of infants proper, 
because of the saving efficacy of the ordi- 
nance ; and he is called the inventor, or 
father, of infant baptism. BvmsevUs Hxppol 
and His Age, Vol. III. , pp. 19%-6. 


There is even less difficulty in tracing the 
cause than in finding the origin of infant 


baptism. It originated in a perversion of 
Christian doctrine, and was itself the per- 
version of a Christian ordinance. 

All students of ecclesiastical history know 
that at an early period corruptions per- 
verted Christian faith and practice. Among 
these, one of the earliest was that of an 
undue efficacy attributed to baptism. Its 
sanctity wms so exalted that it was believed 
to have power to wash away sins, and 
cleanse the soul for heaven. By it the sick 
were supposed to be prepared for death, 
and salvation made more certain by its effi- 
cacy. Anxious parents therefore desired 
their dying children to be thus prepared — 
" washed in the laver of regeneration," as 
it was termed — that they might be sure of 
salvation. And here came in that perni- 
cious error of " baptismal regeneration," 
which gave rise to infant baptism, and 
which has through all these ages clung with 
more or less pertinacity to the clergy and 
laity of all churches which have practiced 

Salmasius says : " An opinion prevailed 
that no one could be saved without being 
baptized; and for that reason the custom 
arose of baptizing infants." Epid. Ju%. 


Pae. See Booth's Pedo. Exam., Ch. III., 
Sec. 3. 

Vekema declares that " the anciente con- 
nected a regenerating power with baptism." 
He cites Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clemens, 
Tertullian, and Cyprian as holding that 
opinion. Eccl. Hist., Vol. If., p. 3, Sees. 2, 


Chkysostom, writing about a. d. 398, as 
cited by Suicerus, says : " It is impossible 
without baptism to obtain the kingdom," 
and as cited by Wall he says : " If sudden 
death seize us before we are baptized, though 
we have a thousand good qualities, there is 
nothing to be expected but hell." Suicer., 
Thesaur. Eccl., Vol. I., p. 3. 

Waddington, in his Church History, 
says, in reference to the third century : " A 
belief was gaining ground among the con- 
verts, and was inculcated among the hea- 
then, that the act of baptism gave remission 
of all sins committed previously." Hist. 
of Chwrch, Ch. II, p. S3. 

Prof. Fisher says: "Very early baptism 
was so far identified with regeneration as 
to be designated by that term. This rite 
was considered essential to salvation. A 
virtue was believed to reside in the bap- 


tismal water itself." Hist. Christ. Ch. f p. 

Do its advocates and supporters hold the 
same view now ? Do parents and ministers 
still believe that the baptism of unconscious 
infants secures, or makes more sure, their 
salvation ? If not, why do they practice it ? 

Prof. Lange's words are weighty, and 
should be carefully pondered by Protestant 
defenders of this Papal emanation. He 
says : " Would the Protestant Church fulfill 
and attain to its final destiny, the baptism 
of new-born children must of necessity be 
abolished. It has sunk down to a mere for- 
mality, without any meaning for the child." 
History of Protestantism, p. S %. 

Many good people, familiar with infant 
baptism and surrounded by its influences, 
have naturally learned to reverence it as of 
divine appointment, and some of them 
really believe it is taught or sanctioned by 
the New Testament. But Baptists are right 
in rejecting it as something utterly without 
foundation in the word of God. 


Much stress is laid by some of the advo- 
cates of infant baptism on the fact that in 


the Acts of the apostles several cases of 
household baptism are mentioned. And it 
is asked with an air of assurance : " If en- 
tire households were baptized, must there 
not have been children among them ? And 
were they not baptized also ? n To this it 
is sufficient to reply, that nothing is said of 
children, and we have no right to put into 
the Scriptures what we do not find in them. 
All inference that such households contained 
infants, and that such infants were baptized, 
is the purest fiction in the world. If Chris- 
tian institutions could be built on so slight a 
foundation as that, we could bring in all 
the mummeries of the Greek or the Roman 
Church, and all the ceremonies of the Mo- 
saic ritual. 

One thing is certain : if in those house- 
holds any children were baptized, they were 
old enough to receive the gospel and to be- 
lieve on Christ, and were thus suitable sub- 
jects for the ordinance, and for church fel- 
lowship. For it is said, " They believed, and 
gladly received the word. 17 There are thou- 
sands of Baptist churches into whose fellow- 
ship whole households have been baptized — 
parents and children, and perhaps others 
connected with them. But all were old 


enough to believe and to make profession of 
their faith. So evidently it was in these 

The more prominent of these households 
are that of Lydia, mentioned in Acts 16 ; 
that of the Philippian jailer, mentioned also 
in Acts 16 ; and that of Stephanas, men- 
tioned in 1 Cor. 1. Now note what a few 
distinguished Pedobaptist scholars say of 
these cases. 

Dr. Neander says : " We cannot prove 
that the Apostles ordained infant baptism ; 
from those places where the baptism of a 
whole family is mentioned, we can draw no 
such conclusion." Planting and Training, 
p. 162, N. F. Ed., 1866. 

Prof. Jacobi says : " In none of these 
instances has it been proved that there were 
little children among them." Kxttds Bib. 
Oyc, Art. Bap. 

Dr. Meyer says : " That the baptism of 
children was not in use at that time appears 
evident from 1 Cor. 7 : 14." Comment, on 
Ads 16 : 16. 

Dr. De Wette says : " This passage has 
been adduced in proof of the apostolical 
authority of infant baptism ; but there is 
no proof here that any except adults were 



baptized." Com. New Test., Ads 16: 

Dr. Olshauses says : " There is alto- 
gether wanting any conclusive proof text 
for the baptism of infants in the age of the 
Apostles." Com. on Acts 16 : 15. 

Bishop Bloomfield says of the jailer : 
" It is taken for granted that his family 
became Christians as well as himself." 
Com. on Acts 16: 31. 

Calvin, Doddridge, Henry, and other 
commentators declare that in this case the 
household all believed, and therefore were 
baptized and did rejoice. MacKnight con- 
siders the case of the household of Stephanas 
as giving no countenance to the baptism of 
infants. And with him agree Guise, Ham- 
mond, Doddridge, and others. 

As to the argument used by some, that 
baptism came in the place of circumcision, 
it is too weak and puerile, too far fetched 
and destitute of reason, to claim the serious 
regard of intelligent and candid minds. 




A Christian church is a society with a 
corporate life, organized on some definite 
plan, adapted to some definite purpose, which 
it proposes to accomplish. It has, therefore, 
its officers and ordinances, its laws and regu- 
lations, fitted to administer its government 
and carry out its purposes. The question 
then arises, What is the true and proper 
form of church organization and govern- 
ment ? We do not care to inquire as to the 
various and contradictory forms, as we see 
them about us in the different denomina- 
tions, but what was the organic form and 
government of the first churches, planted 
by and moulded under the hands of Christ'g 
inspired apostles. 

There are three special and widely differ- 
ent forms of church government which havf 
fained prevalence in Christian communities 
uring past ages, and which are still main 


fcained with varied success, each of which 
claims to have been the original primitive 
form : 

1. The prelatical, in which the governing 
power resides in prelates, or diocesan bish- 
ops, and the higher clergy ; as in the Roman, 
Greek, English, and most Oriental churches. 

2. The presbyterian, in which the govern- 
ing power resides in assemblies, synods, pres- 
byteries, and sessions ; as in the Scottish 
Kirk, the Lutheran, and the various Pres- 
byterian churches. 

3. The independent, in which the body 
is self-governing, each single and local 
church administering its own government 
by the voice of the majority of its mem- 
bers ; as among Baptists, Congregational- 
ists, independents, and some other bodies. 

Now which of these modes of church 
life and administration is taught in the New 
Testament, if either ? or which best accord? 
with the constitution and government of the 
apostolic churches ? 

Baptists hold that each separate, local 
church is an independent body, governing 
itself according to the laws of Christ, as 
found in the New Testament. That each 
inch church is independent of all other 


churches, and of all other persons, so far 
as administration is concerned, owing comity 
and fellowship to all, but allegiance and 
submission to none. The government is 
administered by the body of the members, 
*vhere no one possesses a pre-eminence of 
mthority, but each enjoys an equality of 
rights, and in which, in matters of opinion, 
■;he majority decides. 

That this style of churoh structure is 
according to the New Testament appears 
evident from a study of the sacred records 
themselves. The apostles treated the 
churches as independent bodies. Their 
epistles were addressed to the churches 
as such ; they reported th«ir doings to 
them ; enjoined upon them the duty of 
discipline ; exhorted, instru'^ted, and re- 
proved them as independent and responsible 
bodies. They recognized the right of the 
churches to elect their own teachers and 
officers, a primary and fundamental right, 
which, when conceded, supposes all other 
rights and powers necessary to a self-gov- 
erning community acting under divinely 
given laws. 

Neander, the distinguished historian* says 
of the first age: "The churches w«ra ta ^ght 


to govern themselves." '* The brethren 
chose their own officers from among them- 
selves." " In respect to the election of 
church officers, the ancient principle was 
still adhered to: that the consent of the 
community was necessary to the validity of 
every such election, and each one was at 
liberty to offer reasons against it." Introd. 
Coleman's Prim. Christ y, p 19; Ch. Hist., 
Vol. I., p. 199; Plant and Train., p. 166. 

Mosheim says of the first century : " In 
those primitive times, each Christian Church 
was composed of the people, the presiding 
officers, and the assistants, or deacoiu. These 
must be the component parts of every so- 
ciety. The principal voice was that of the 
people, or of the whole body of Christians." 
" The assembled people, therefore, elected 
their own rulers ana teachers." Of the 
second century, he adds : " One president, 
or bishop, presides over each church. He 
was created by the common suirrages of the 
people." " During a great part of this cen- 
tury, all the churches continued to be, as at 
first, independent of each other. Each church 
was a kind of small, independent republic, 
governing itself by its own laws, enacted, oi 
at least sanctioned, by the people." EocL 


fl«*., Cent. 1, Part i, Ch. 2, See. 5, 6; 
Cent, g, Ch. 2, Sec. 1, 8. 

Coleman says : " These churches, where 
ever formed, became separate and independ- 
ent bodies, competent to appoint their own 
officers and administer their own govern- 
ment without reference or subordination to 
any control, authority, or foreign power. 
No fact connected with the history of the 
primitive church is more fully established 
or more generally conceded." Prim. Christ 
Exempt., Ch. 4, Sec. 4, p. 95. 

Archbishop Whately, Dr. Barrow, 
Dr. Burton, Dr. Waddington, — all of them 
Church of England divines, — fully agree 
with this testimony, and confirm the evi- 
dence cited. 

Geiselek, the historian, says, concerning 
early changes : " Country churches, which 
had grown up around some city, seem, with 
their bishops, to have been usually, in a 
certain degree, under the authority of the 
mother church. With this exception, all the 
churches were alike independent, though 
some were especially held in honor, on such 
grounds as their apostolic origin, or the im- 
portance of the city in which they were 
■touted." Period 1, Div. 1, Ch. S, See. 58. 


situated." Period 1, Div. 1, Ch. 3, Sec. 

Farther discussion on this subject is not 
needed. The point is proven, and the inde- 
pendent form of church government is man- 
ifestly primitive and apostolic, as advocated 
and practiced by Baptists. 




How many, and what are the Scripturaj 
officers of a Christian church? For a 
church, being a society, must have not only 
laws, but officers to execute them. How 
many orders are there in the ministry? 
These are questions which have at times 
greatly divided the Christian world. 

Baptists assert that the officers of a church 
are two, — and of right, can be no more, — 
pastor and deacons. In this opinion agree 
some other denominations, while the various 
Episcopal sects insist that there should be 
three sects — deacons, priests, and bishops, to 
which the Church of England adds arch- 
bishops. Others add to this number in- 
definitely ; and the Romish Church carries 
the list up to ten or twelve, ending with the 
pope. Now it is not so much what this 
church teaches or practices, but on wb*$ 
basis were the primitive churches — tb« 


churches of inspiration — organized. Qui 
Lord did not live to shape, and model, and 
put in order all things for the full equip- 
ment of his people, that they might be 
thoroughly furnished unto all good works, 
but he did give to his apostles a spirit of 
wisdom by which they should be able to do 
all this, and carry out his plans, in the or- 
ganization oi his kingdom after he had left 
them. We assume that the first churches 
were organized on the divine plan, and seek 
to ascertain what that plan was. 

In the New Testament, the words bishops 
presbyter, elder are used to designate church 
officers. They all, however, designate the 
same office, and tnerefore officially mean the 
same thing ; indeed, they are not unfre- 
quently applied to the same individual. 
The bishop — called also presbyter, or elder 
— was the pastor, or overseer of the spiritual 
flock, watching, guiding, and feeding it, as 
the shepherd does his sheep. The deacons 
were chosen to attend to the temporal inter- 
ests of the church, as appears by the election 
of the seven, recorded in the sixth chapter 
of Acts. This was done in order that the 
apostles might be free from the temporal 
cares, and thus able to give their attention 


more exclusively to the spiritual welfare of 
the people. The word deacon means a mirv- 
ister, a servant. It is sometimes applied to 
the apostles, and even to Christ himself, in 
that general sense as one who " came, not to 
be ministered unto, but to minister, and to 
give his life a ransom for many." Some of 
the first deacons were also efficient preachers 
of the gospel, but their work as deacons 
pertained to other service in the churches. 
While, therefore, the deacon is a church 
officer, his office does not constitute an order 
in the ministry at all, its functions belong- 
ing to temporal concerns, and not to a spir- 
itual service. The service usually performed 
by clerks, trustees, and the like, it may be 
presumed, so far as such service was needed 
in the first churches, was devolved on the 

Pastors, by whatever name they may 
have been known, had the same service, 
and were of the same grade, dignity, and 
authority. In the first churches there were 
no high orders of clergy placed over lower 
grades, and over the churches ruling with 
superior authority. All were equals among 
equals, and all equally ministered to the 
churches. If in the same church there 


might chance to be several to whom the 
titles bishop, presbyter, or elder were applied, 
they were all of equal rank or authority, 
though one might be selected to serve a# 
the pastor of the church, and devote him 
self to its local interests ; while the others 
might give themselves to more general mis- 
sionary work. 

Neander says : " The word 'presbyter, or 
elder, indicates rather the dignity ol the 
office, since presbyters among the Jews were 
usually aged and venerable ; while bishop, 
or episoopos, designated the nature of their 
work as overseers, or pastors of the churches. 
The former title was used by Jewish Chris- 
tians as a name familiar in the synagogue; 
while the latter was chiefly used by the 
Greek and other Gentile converts, as more 
familiar and expressive to them." a They 
were not designed to exercise absolute au- 
thority, but to act as presiding officers and 
guides of an ecclesiastical republic : to con- 
duct all things, with the co-operation of the 
communities, as their ministers, and not as 
their masters." Introd. to Cole. Prim. Ch., 
p. 20; Ch. Hist. Vol. 1., p. 18+; ^tcurd. 
and Train., p. H7. 

Mosheim says: "The rulers of tht 


churches were denominated sometime* pres- 
byters, or elders, a designation borrowed 
from the Jews, and indicative rather of the 
wisdom than the age of the persons, and 
sometimes also bishops; for it is most mani- 
fest that both terms are promiscuously used 
in the New Testament of one and the same 
class of persons." " In these primitive times, 
each Christian church was composed of the 
people, the presiding officers, and the assist- 
ants, or deacons. These must be the com- 
ponents of every society." EccL Hist., 
Cent. 1, p. 2; Ch., 2, Sees. 6, 8. 

Gieseler asserts: "The new churches 
everywhere formed themselves on the model 
of the mother church at Jerusalem. At the 
head of each were the elders {presbyter, 
bishop), all officially of equal rank, though 
in several instances a peculiar authority 
seems to have been conceded to some one 
individual from personal considerations." 
Ch. Hut., Part 1, Div. 1, Ch. 2, Sec. 29. 

Waddington declares : " It is also true 
that in the earliest government of the first 
Christian society, — that of Jerusalem, — not 
the elders only, but the 'whole church/ 
were associated with the apostles ; and it is 
even certain that the terms bishop and elder, 


or presbyter , were in the first instance and 
for a short period, sometime used synony- 
mously, and indiscriminately applied to the 
same order in the ministry." Hist. Christ, 
Church, Ch. <2, Sec. 2. 

Archbishop Usher says that " bishop 
and presbyter differed only in degree, and 
not in order." See Cole. Ano. Christ 
Ezemp., Ch. 8, Sec. 6. 

Bishop Burnett says: "As for the 
notion of distinct offices of bishop and pres- 
byter, I confess it is not so clear to me." 
Vindie. Ch. of Sects, p. 366. 

Dr. Coleman says : " It is generally ad- 
mitted by Episcopal writers on this subject, 
that in the New Testament, and in the 
earliest ecclesiastical writings, the terms 
bishops and presbyters, or elders, are synony- 
mous, and denote one and the same office." 
"The office of presbyter was undeniably 
identical with that of bishop, as has been 
shown above." " Only two orders of officers 
are known in the church until the close of 
the second century. Those of the first are 
ityled either bishops or presbyters ; of the 
second, deacons." Ano. Christ. Ezemp., Ch. 
8, Sec. 6; Ch. 6, Sec. 5. 

This author cites many of the early Chris- 


tian Fathers who bore the same testimony, 
among whom are Clement of Rome, Poly- 
carp, Justin Martyr, Iren®us, Jerome, 
Chrysostom, Theodoret, and others. Many 
prelatical writers, besides these above quoted, 
frankly admit the same facts. 

The Apostle Paul, it is stated (Acts 20 : 
17, 18), called together the elders (presby- 
ters) of the Ephesian Church. But in verse 
28 he calls these officers overseers (episco- 
pous). Here the terms presbuteros and episco- 
pos were certainly used interchangeably. 

Paul and Timothy, in their address to 
the Philippian Christians, specify three 
classes as evidently constituting the entire 
body of disciples. They say : " To all the 
saints in Christ Jesus, which are at Philippi, 
with the bishops and deacons." Saints, 
bishops, and deacons embraced the whole 

Timothy was instructed by Paul as to 
the qualifications of pastors to be placed 
over the churched. (1 Tim. 3:1.) Par- 
ticular directions are given as to both bishops 
and deacons, but no mention is made of 
elders — clearly because they were the same 
as bishops. 

Titus is likewise enjoined to secure pa#- 


tors for the church in Crete. (Titus 1 : 6, 7.) 
These pastors are called elders in verse 6 
and bishops in verse 7. 

Pastors and deacons, therefore, are two 
orders, and these officers simply were known 
or needed in the apostolic churches. In 
this, also, the views held by Baptists are in 
harmony with the customs of the churches 
in the first and purest age of Christian his- 




It is sometimes asked : " When and 
where did the Baptists originate? Who 
were their founders? What is their his- 
tory?" These are questions of interest; 
but a more important one would be : " Are 
they right ? Is their faith according to the 
teachings of the New Testament ? n Many 
things which are old are not true. Creeds 
and sects may boast a venerable antiquity, 
while the word of God utterly condemns 
them. Any organization that cannot rea- 
sonably claim Christ for its founder has 
small right to the name of a Christian 
church, no matter how old it may be. 

Baptists claim to be built on the founda- 
tion of the apostles and prophets, Jesus 
Christ himself being the chief Corner Stone. 
If this claim be well founded, whether they 
have a written history of one century or of 
twenty, matters little. Yet whatever of the 


past belongs to any, it may be well to know. 
And Baptist history constitutes one of the 
most interesting chapters in the records of 

During the apostolic age even, the doc- 
trines of the gospel became corrupted, and 
its ordinances soon after. Both Jewish and 
Gentile converts brought into the churches 
many of their old religious notions, and 
incorporated them with the faith of Christ. 
These, together with the many philosophical 
ideas of the times and the perversions to 
which the truth is always exposed from the 
ignorance and selfishness of men, very early 
turned the churches aside from the faith 
once delivered to the saints. Still there 
were many who in simplicity and humility 
maintained the doctrines and customs in 
their original purity. Those churches which 
were strongest and most prosperous were 
most exposed to corruption by alliances with 
the world. 

When at length the period of martyrdom 
and persecution terminated ; when a nom- 
inal Christianity took possession of a throne, 
and Church and State became united, then 
religion, in its prevailing forms, lost its sim- 
plicity, its spirituality, and its power, and a 


temporal hierarchy took the place of the 
church of Christ. This was the great apos- 
tasy of the early times. But all the churches 
and all disciples did not follow in the wake 
of this sad departure from the truth. Many 
congregations and communities of true wor- 
shipers kept the doctrines of the gospel, and 
practiced its ordinances, nearly, or quite, in 
their primitive purity. And this they con- 
tinued to do through all the ages of dark- 
ness and corruption which followed. They 
were never identified with the Roman or 
Greek churches ; they never were in alliance 
with States ; never formed hierarchies. As 
independent congregations, or small commu- 
nities, with no other bond of union than a 
common faith, fellowship, and sympathy, 
often obscure and unobtrusive, taking the 
word of God as their guide, they sought to 
realize the idea, not of a temporal, but a 
spiritual kingdom in the gospel dispensa- 

These religious communities were by the 
dominant hierarchies called secto, and stig- 
matized as heretic*. As such they were 
traduced and persecuted continuallv And 
though they may have had their errors 
they were the best and purest defenders o* 


the Christian faith, and the truest representa- 
tives of the first disciples of Christ then 
existing. The State churches were the 
heretics ; while those so-called sects were the 
true successors of the first Christians. 

They were defamed and oppressed. Ca- 
lumniated and martyred because they bore 
witness to the truth of God and testified 
against the errors and vices of the so-called 
churches. History has never done them 
justice, and perhaps never will; because 
history has been too much written in the 
interest of their enemies, or from their 
standpoint. Tortured and tormented by 
those who should have been their defenders, 
crowns and mitres alike pledged to their 
destruction, they could do nothing but 
suffer. And this they nobly did as Christ's 
faithful witnesses. They were known by 
various names in different ages and in dif- 
ferent lands, but retained the same general 

In the first and second centuries, Messa- 
lians, Montanists, Euchites, were terms 
which distinguished some of these sects. 

In the third, fourth and fifth centuries 
arose the Novatians. Increasing with ex- 
ceeding rapidity, they quite overspread the 



Roman empire, in spite of the cruel and 
destructive persecutions which they suffered. 

In the fourth century the Donatists ap- 
peared, as a new form of existing sects, or 
a new phase of the old faith. They multi- 
plied rapidly, spread extensively, and long 

In the seventh century appeared the Pauli- 
eians, attracting much attention, and calling 
down upon themselves the wrath of the 
Romish Church. Still they increased 
greatly, notwithstanding their many perse- 

That these Christian communities should 
have been faultless could not be supposed. 
But they were the best of the ages in which 
they lived, and maintained the purest forms 
of gospel truth and practice. Without the 
advantage of organization and association, 
they differed somewhat among themselves. 

But in general they all professed to take 
the New Testament as the rule of their 
faith and practice. They held to a spiritual 
church membership, and received only pro- 
fessedly regenerated persons to the ordi- 
nances. Denying the orthodoxy of the 
Romish Church, they re-baptized persons 
received from that body, and hence were 


called Anabaptist*. Infant baptism they 
rejected, according to Allix, Mosheim, Rob- 
inson, and other historians. Baptism they 
administered by immersion, as indeed did 
all Christians during those ages. Robinson 
calls them "Trinitarian Baptists." It is 
said that the Empress Theodora, aftei 
having confiscated their property, caused to 
be cruelly put to death no less than one 
hundred thousand Pauiicians, for no other 
feult or offense than their religious faith. 

About the close of the tenth century ap- 
peared the Paterines; substantially the 
same people, no doubt, as had previously 
existed under other names. They too re- 
jected infant baptism, and protested against 
the corruptions of the Romish Church ; in 
consequence of which they suffered long 
and severe persecutions. 

In the eleventh century, and the ages fol- 
lowing, were the Waldenses, Albigenses, 
Yaudois, Cathari, and Poor Men of Lyons 
These were new names, and names usually 
given by their enemies. They increased. 
even under their persecutions, to a won- 
derful extent, and attracted the notice if not 
the sympathy, of all Europe. 

It is not pretended that these ancient 


sects were known by name as Baptists ; bat 
in general they held the more prominent 
and distinctive principles which have always 
characterized the Baptists ; thus : 1 . They 
declared and defended the rights of faith 
and conscience and the freedom of worship. 
2. They denied the authority of popes and 
the right of kings and States to interfere with 
the people in matters of religion. 3. They 
rejected infant baptism. 4. They baptized 
by dipping. 5. They held the Bible to be 
the only rale and authority in concerns of 
religious faith and practice. 6. They ad- 
mitted none to the churches except sach as 
professed to be regenerated and godly per- 

Now it is conceded by all historians of 
note that such churches and communities 
did exist, separate from and persecuted by, 
the prevailing State churches and civil 
authorities during all the ages from the 
Apostles to the Reformation. 

When the Reformation under Luther and 
bis coadjntors broke out, these sects to a 
£reat extent fraternized with, and were lost 
in the multitude of the reformers. 8uch as 
continued their separate existence, as the 
Waldenses of Piedjnont, yielding to the in- 


flue nee of the reformers, did from sympathy 
what the persecutions of the Papist* had 
never been able to compel them to do — 
abandon dipping for sprinkling in baptism, 
adopted infant baptism, and took the gen- 
eral forms of religious life, into which P«- 
-lobaptist Protestantism grew. 


Few denominations have a better claim 
to antiquity than the Welsh Baptists. They 
trace their descent directly from the Apostles, 
and urge in favor of their claim arguments 
which have never been confuted. 

When Austin, the Romish monk and 
missionary, visited Wales, at the close of 
the sixth century, he found a community of 
more than two thousand Christians, quietly 
living in their mountain homes. They 
were independent of the Romish See, and 
wholly rejected its authority. Austin 
labored hard to convert them — that is, to 
bring them under the Papal yoke ; but en- 
tirely failed in the effort. Yielding things 
in general, he reduced his demand upon 
them to three particulars. 1. That they 
should observe Easter in due form, as or- 
dered by the church. 2. That they should 

162 8TAKDABD manual 

give Christendom, or baptism, to their chil- 
dren. 3. That they should preach to the 
English the word of God, as directed. 1 

These demands of Austin prove that they 
neither observed the Popish ordinance of 
Easter, nor baptized their children. The) 
however rejected all his overtures, where- 
upon he left them with threats of war and 
wretchedness. Not long after, Wales was 
invaded by the Saxons, and many of these 
inoffensive Christians cruelly murdered, as 
was believed, at the instigation of this 
bigoted zealot, the exacting Austin. 


The Baptists of Holland have a history 
that reaches back to a very remote period, 
if not to the apostolic age, as some con- 
fidently assert. And this antiquity is con- 
ceded by historians who have no sympathy 
with their denominational sentiments. 

Mosheim, in his church history, says; 
"The true origin of that sect which 
acquired the name Anabaptist is hid in tht 
remote depths of antiquity, and is conse- 
quently extremely difficult to be ascer- 

igee Benedicts Hist. Bap., p. 343, and authorities 
there cited. 


tained." Eod. Hist. Vol IV., p. &7. 
Mac. Ed., 1811. See Introd. Orchard** 
Hist. Bap., p. 17. 

Zwingle, the Swiss reformer, contempo- 
rary with Luther, declares : " The institu- 
of Anabaptism is no novelty, bnt for 
thirteen hxmdred years has caused great dis- 
turbance in the church." Introd, Orchard?& 
Hist. Bap., p. 17. Thirteen hundred years 
before his time would have carried it back 
to within two centuries of the death of 

Dr. Dermont, chaplain to the king of 
Holland, and Dr. Ypeij, professor of 
theology at Groningen, a few years since 
received a royal commission to prepare a 
history of the Reformed Dutch Church. 
That history, prepared under royal sanction, 
and officially published, contains the follow- 
ing manly and generous testimony to the 
antiquity and orthodoxy of the Dutch Bap- 
tists. " We have now seen that the Baptists, 
who were formerly called Anabaptists, and 
in later times Mennonites, were the original 
Waldenses, and have long in the history of 
the church received the honor of that origin. 
On this account, the Baptists may be consid- 
ered the only Christian community which has 


stood since the apostles, and as a Christian 
society, which has preserved pure the doctrines 
of the gospel through all agesP Hist. Bef. 
Dutch Ch., Ed. Breda, 1819. See Ency. 
Relig. Knowledge, Art. Ifennonites. 

Mosheim says of the persecutions o/ this 
people in the sixteenth century : " Vast 
numbers of .these people, in nearly all the 
countries of Europe, would rather perish 
miserably by drowning, hanging, burning, 
or decapitation, than renounce the opin- 
ions they had embraced." And their 
innocency he vindicates thus : " It is 
indeed true that many Anabaptists were 
put to death, not as being bad citizens, 
or injurious members of civil society, 
but as being incurable heretics, who were 
condemned by the old canon laws, For 
the error of adult baptism was in that 
age looked upon as a horrible offence." 
That was their only crime. Eccl. Hist, 
Cent. 16, Sec. S, part 0, Ch. III. Fallens 
Ch But., B. i. 

This testimony is all the more welcome, 
because it comes from those who have no 
ecclesiastical sympathies with Baptists, but 
who, in fidelity to history, bear honest testi- 
uony to the truth which history teaches. 


The circumstances under which theii evi- 
dence was produced give it additional 

Cardinal Hossius, chairman of the 
oouncil at Trent, says : " If the truth of 
religion were to be judged of by the readi- 
ness and cheerfulness which a man of any 
sect shows in suffering, then the opinions 
and persuasions of no sect can be truer or 
surer, than those of the Anabaptists; since 
there have been none, for these twelve hun- 
dred years past, that have been more griev- 
ously punished." Orchard's Hist. Bap., 
Sec. 12, part SO, p. 364. 

Many thousands of the Dutch Baptists, 
called Anabaptists, and Mennonists, miser- 
ably perished by the hands of their cruel 
persecutors, for no crime but their refusal 
to conform to established churches^ 1 


At what time the Baptists appeared in 
England in definite denominational form, it 
is impossible to say. But from the twelfth 
to the seventeenth century, many of them 

'Benedict's Hist. Baptists, Ch. IV. NeaTs Hist 
Puritans. Vol. II., p. 855. Supplement Fuller's Cfc 
Hist., B. 4. 


suffered cruel persecutions, and death by 
burning, drowning, and beheading, besides 
many other, and sometimes most inhuman 
tortures. And this they suffered both from 
Papists and Protestants, condemned by both 
civil and ecclesiastical tribunals, only because 
they persisted in worshiping God according 
to the dictates of their consciences, and be- 
cause they would not submit their religious 
faith and worship to the dictates of popes 
and princes. 1 In 1538, royal edicts were 
issued against them, and several were burnt 
at the stake in Smithfield. 

Brajstde writes that : " In the year 1538, 
thirty-one Baptists, that fled from England, 
were put to death at Delft, in Holland ; the 
men were beheaded, and the women were 
drowned. " Hkt. Reformers. See Bene- 
dict } s Hut Bap., p. SOS. NeaVs Hist. Puri- 
tans, Vol. I, p. 138. Note, Vol. II., p. S65, 
8up. What crime had they committed to 
merit such treatment as this ? 

Bishop Latimer declares that: "The 
Baptists that were burnt in different parts 
of the kingdom went to death intrepidly, and 
without any fear, during the time of Henry 

1 See Histories of Baptists, by Crosby, Irimey, D*n- 
▼ore, and Benedict. 


VIII." Lent Sermons. NeaF 8 Hut Purity 
Vol II, p. 366. 

Under the rule of the Popish Mary, they 
suffered perhaps no more than under that of 
the Protestant Elizabeth. During the reign 
of the latter a congregation of Baptists was 
discovered in London, whereupon several 
were banished, twenty-seven imprisoned, 
and two burnt at Smithfield. 1 

Dr. Featley, one of their bitter ene- 
mies, wrote of them, in 1 633 : " This sect, 
among others, hath so far presumed upon 
the patience of the State, that it hath held 
weekly conventicles, rebaptizing hundreds 
of men and women together in the twilight, 
in rivulets, and in some arms of the Thames, 
and elsewhere, dipping them all over head 
and ears. It hath printed divers pamphlets 
in defence of their heresy ; yea, and chal- 
lenged some of our preachers to disputation." 
Eng. Bapt. Jubilee Memor., Benedict* Hist 

Bailey wrote, in 1639, that: "Under 
the shadow of independency they have lifted 
up their heads, and increased their numbers 
above all sects in the land. They have 

xWall, cited by Neal, Hist. Puiltar*, Vol. L, p. 
187. Vol. II., p. 358, Supplement. 


forty-six churches in and about Ijondon. 
They are a people very fond of religious 
liberty, and very unwilling to be brought 
under bondage of the judgment of others." 
Benedicts History, p. 804. 

The first book published in the English 
language on the subject of baptism was 
translated from the Dutch, and bears date 
1618. From this time they multiplied 
rapidly through all parts of the kingdom. 
The first regularly organized church among 
them, known as such in England, dates 
from 1607, and was formed in London by 
& Mr. Smyth, previously a clergyman of 
the established church. 

In 1689, the Particular Baptists, so called, 
held a convention in London, in which more 
than one hundred congregations were repre- 
sented, and which issued a confession of 
faith, still in use and highly esteemed. 

The last Baptist martyr in England was 
Edward Wightman, of Burton upon Trent, 
condemned by the Bishop of Coventry, and 
burnt at Litchfield, April 11, 1612. 1 


The history of American Baptists runs 

1 Sng. Bap. Jubilee Memor., Benedict's Hlat. Bap. 


back a little more than two and a quarter 
centuries. In this country, as elsewhere, 
they were cradled amidst persecution, and 
nurtured by the hatred of their foes. This 
has been their fortune in every age, and in 
every land. 

Rogeb Williams, a distinguished and 
an honored name, was identified with the 
rise of the denomination in America. He 
has been called their founder, because he or- 
ganized the first church, and was intimately 
connected with their early history. Wil- 
liams was born in Wales, 1598, educated at 
Oxford, England, came to America in 1630, 
and settled as minister of the Puritan church 
in Salem, Massachusetts. Not long after he 
adopted Baptist views of doctrine and church 
order, on account of which he was banished 
by his fellow Puritans, and driven out of 
Massachusetts, in the depths of a rigorous 
winter, in a new and inhospitable countrv. 
Having wandered far and suffered much, 
finding the savage Indians more generous 
and hospitable than his fellow Christians, 
he finally reached and fixed his future home 
at what is now Providence, R. I. Here, 
with a few associates of like faith, he founded 
a new colony, calling both the city and the 


colony Providence, in recognition of the 
divine guidance and protection, which he 
had in so remarkable a manner experienced. 

In 1639, Mr. Williams received baptism 
from one of his associates, there being no 
minister to perform that service. He in 
torn baptized his associates, and a church 
was organized, of which he was chosen 
pastor. He was also appointed first Gov- 
ernor of Rhode Island. Full liberty was 
granted in matters of religion. Thus Roger 
Williams became the first ruler, and Rhode 
Island the first State which ever gave entire 
freedom to all persons to worship God, 
according to their own choice, without dic- 
tation or interference from civil or ecclesi- 
astical authorities. 

On account of this unrestricted liberty 
many Baptists, as well as other persecuted 
religionists from other colonies, and from 
Europe, collected in considerable numbers 
at Providence, and spread through the 

It is a mistake to suppose that all the 
Baptist churches in America grew out of the 
one which Roger Williams founded, It is 
even doubtful whether any single church 
arose as an outgrowth of that As immi 


Eatioa increased, other churches grew up, 
ving no connection with that ; and with 
considerable rapidity the sentiments of Bap- 
tists spread into adjoining colonies, particu- 
larly west and south. For a long time, 
bowever, they were sorely persecuted, espe- 
cially in Massachusetts and Connecticut 
Persecuted even by those who had them- 
selves fled from persecution in their native 
land, to find freedom and refuge in these 
distant wilds. 

In 1644, the present First Church in 
Newport, R. I., was organized. But 
whether the present First Church in Provi- 
dence was constituted before this date is 
still a disputed point. Both claim priority. 
In 1656, the Second Church, Newport, was 
formed. Then followed in order of time, 
the church in Swansea, Massachusetts, 
1663; First, Boston, 1665; North King- 
stone, It. I., 1666 ; Seventh Day Church, 
Newport, 1671 ; South Kingstone, R. I., 
1680; Kittery, Me., 1682; Middletown, 
N. J., 1688 ; Lower Dublin, Pa., 1689 ; 
Charleston, S. C, 1690 ; Philadelphia, Pa., 
1698 ; Welsh Tract, Del . 1701 ; proton, 
Ct., 1705. Others, not mentioned, arose 
within this period in these and other Colo- 


nies. With the increase of population, 
Baptists rapidly increased and widely spread 
over the country. 

Edward?* Tables gives the number of 
American Baptist Churches in 1768, as 
only 137. 

Asplund's Register for 1790, reported 
872 churches, 722 ordained ministers, with 
64,975 members. 

Benedict's History states that in 1812, 
there were 2,633 churches, 2,143 ordained 
ministers, and 204,185 members. 

Allen's Register for 1836, puts them at 
7,299 churches, 4,075 ordained ministers, 
and 517,523 members. 

The Baptist Year Book gives the follow- 
ing figures : 

Dste. Churchea. . Miniitan. Mciaben. 

1840 7,771 6,208 571,291 

1860 12,279 7,773 1,016,134 

1880 26,080 16,569 2,296,327 

1890 33,588 21,175 3,070,047 

The Year Book gives the Sunday-school 
statistics for 1890, as follows: For United 
States — Schools, 17,696 ; officers and teach- 
ers, 132,186 j pupils, 1,211,698. 

It must be borne in mind that the figures 
given in all these cases are less than the 


actual facts would warrant, since full report* 
from associations, churches, and schools can 
never be obtained. 


Besides the regular Baptist brotherhood, 
there are in the United States more than a 
milium of other and smaller denominations, 
which practice immersion, but are not in 
fellowship with, nor reckoned as a part of 
the great Baptist family. 

The Seventh Day Baptists, so-called on 
account of their observing Saturday, or the 
seventh day of the week, as their Sabbath, 
on the ground that the Jewish Sabbath was 
never abrogated. They are estimated at 
about 9,000. 

The Free Will Baptists, who take their 
name from their views of the freedom of 
the human will. They practice open com- 
munion. Their number is about 114,700. 

The Six Principle Baptists, thus desig- 
nated because their doctrinal confession is 
based on the six points mentioned in Heb. 
6 : 1, 2. Estimated at 1,450. 

The Anti-Mission Baptists, called also 
Old Baptists, and Ironsides ; found chiefly 
in the southwest. They do not favor mis- 


nous, Sunday-schools, or other religions or 
moral reform movements) lest they should 
seem to interfere with the divine decree*. 
They are Antinomian in doctrine, and are 
said to number 45,000. 

The Campbellites, Disciples, Reformers, 
or Christians, as they are variously called, 
estimated at 850,000. 

The Winebrennorians, or Church of God 
Estimated at about 30,000. 

The Tunkers, or Dunkards, at 100,000 ; 
and the United Brethren at 200,000. 


In North America, aside from the 
United States, but including Canada, New 
Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Jamaica, and 
Cuba, about 140,000. 

In Europe, including England, Scotland, 
Wales, Germany, and Sweden, about 

In Asia, including Burmah, and India, 
About 76,000. 

In Australia, about 15,000. 

In Africa, about 3,000. 


Date Due 






IN U. S. A.